WWII

All the Answers are Wrong

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Published on the Economic Undertow on June 8, 2016

07 ‹bersicht Kraftwerk

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Unknown photographer (Bundesarchiv): The central powerhouse of the IG Auschwitz ‘Buna’ chemical complex at Monowice, Poland, in 1944. This giant factory was built by the chemical firm IG Farben to produce synthetic rubber, motor fuels, styrene and other compounds for the Third Reich, using raw materials mined nearby. The plant was a monument to brutality, built largely by tens of thousands of Jews and other slaves press-ganged across Europe by the German SS and ‘rented’ to Farben. Unlike much of wartime German manufacturing, toiling under the lash of Allied bombing; set up in flimsy sheds, in caves or even out in the open, the Buna facility was built of permanent materials to the highest standard. The intention was to produce wartime supplies for the German military during the years of conquest, then commercial plastics after the war was won. It was also meant to put the German stamp on defeated Poland, a permanent landmark for a thousand-year empire.

Farben was a cartel created in 1925 by combining the firms BASF, Hoechst, Cassella and Chemische Fabrik Kalle, Bayer, Chemische Fabrik vorm. Weiler Ter Meer, Chemische Fabrik Griesheim-Elektron and Agfa. These firms were founded beginning in the mid- 19th century, to synthesize dyes and related compounds from coal tar, a toxic material left over from the manufacture of illuminating gas. By the time the combine was formalized, interests had expanded to fuel, fertilizer and pesticides, cosmetics, non-ferrous metals, explosives, pharmaceuticals, reagents; also construction, mining and materials. The leading firm within the Farben combine was BASF, which had become dominant by way of the high pressure hydrogenation processes it developed beginning in 1912.

During that year Fritz Haber and assistant Robert Le Rossignol learned how to produce ammonia by combining atmospheric nitrogen with hydrogen from methane in a pressure vessel at high temperature in the presence of a catalyst. Engineer Carl Bosch at BASF expanded the process to the industrial scale. Arguably one of humanity’s significant inventions, synthesized ammonia represented a superabundance of fertilizer, allowing crop yields to increase geometrically without the need to increase the area of land under cultivation. The Haber process was soon combined with the Ostwald Process to synthesize nitric acid which together produces ammonium nitrate; this allowed for nearly unlimited supply of explosives and propellants. The timely adoption of nitrate synthesis at the industrial scale right before the beginning of World War One allowed Germany to wage war against its neighbors even as supplies of natural nitrates were cut off by British naval blockade.

In 1913, Friedrich Bergius patented a process for converting lignite coal to liquid fuel by hydrogenation under high pressure and temperature in the presence of a catalyst. Theodor Goldschmidt, a businessman and chemist with family background in the dye business built a facility utilizing the Bergius process to produce liquid hydrocarbons which became operational after the war. Ultimately, Bergius’ patent was sold to BASF where Carl Bosch perfected- then expanded the process. Starting in 1934, Farben (as Brabag) constructed a dozen coal-to-liquids plants capable of producing at full capacity as much to four million tons of synthetic gasoline and other fuels per year. In 1925, Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch developed a complimentary coal-to-liquids process that likewise involved passing feedstocks through a catalyst at high pressure and temperatures. The output of the two processes together was sufficient to meet the entire military requirement for gasoline with synthetic fuel until allied bombing destroyed most of the plants and fuel transport.

In 1929 Walter Bach (for Farben) developed a process to produce synthetic styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) trade named as Buna-S. There were other formulations for synthetic rubber and to some degree Farben had a hand in all of them. including types developed in the US and the USSR by Sergey Lebedev; these were all places lacking a native source of natural rubber. Farben built several facilities to manufacture Buna in Germany and occupied lands including the plant at Monowice. Together these factories were able to meed the German military demand for rubber until they were, like the fuel plants, destroyed or rendered useless by Allied bombers.

11 Kompressorenbau

Unknown photographer (Bundesarchiv), Compressor station in IG Auschwitz Buna hydrogenation facility in Monowice. The scale of these compressors can be seen by noting the figures on the far right and in the center.

In 1937, Otto Bayer (Farben) developed the chemistry to produce urethanes which today are ubiquitous in adhesives, coatings, paint, insulation and packaging. Farben chemists also developed polystyrene and epoxies, organophosphate pesticides; also photographic film, X-ray plates and developing chemicals; also pharmaceuticals including phenobarbitol and the first antibiotics; also solvents, synthetic fibers and dyes; reagents and chemicals for refining, also catalysts, lubricants and special materials for high temperature applications. One of the production centers within the sprawling Buna factory was intended to synthesize glycol compounds used for explosives, also chemical warfare agents including precursors for the nerve gas Tabun. Glycol is a component of anti-freeze.

The 1925 consolidation created Farben as Europe’s largest company; it was also the world’s largest chemical company; a top-four largest industrial firm after General Motors, US Steel and John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil of New Jersey. Operating through hundreds of subsidiaries and merger agreements, the greatest proportion of the firm’s business was outside of Germany. Until the war, Farben was the source of the bulk of pre-WWII Germany’s foreign exchange.

Farben was extraordinarily inventive. A reason was the company did not skimp on critical investments: from The Official 1945 Report of U.S. Congress on IG Farben;

Vast sums were devoted to research. In the period between 1932 and 1943 I.G. spent slightly less than RM 1bn, averaging an expenditure of rather more than 4.1 percent of (war inflated) average annual gross sales. A significant percentage of these expenditures went into research on products not yet in commercial production, and constant attention was also paid to novel applications of products. Well over 1,000 highly qualified men and women were regularly engaged in research work. In addition, the firm financed research work in many universities and scientific institutions.

Unlike the current run of tech firms with little- or nothing to show but borrowed fortunes for executives and venture capitalists, Farben’s top scientists and engineers were Nobel Prize winners … Haber, Bosch and Bergius; later Otto Diels for chemistry, Gerhard Domagk for medicine. Brilliant as the company was, Farben’s crimes were appalling. Farben and its manufacturing counterparts Vereinigte Stahlwerke, Daimler, Krupp, BMW, Messerschmidt, Rheinmetall, M.A.N., Mauser and the rest were the ‘Military Industrial Complex’ before the term as such existed. The complex’s war against Europe cost the lives of thirty-two millions or more, additional millions were wounded or left homeless. Instead of empire, the war left Germany divided and in ruins. The conventional narrative suggests Farben as an accomplice or pro-forma enabler of the Nazi Reich and its horrors but this is incorrect. Hitler and his gangster cronies were products of Farben no different from polystyrene and printing ink.

Technology is seductive. From the dawn of modernity in 1455, it has offered the chance for those who possess it to gain ascendancy over those who do not. The first public expressions of modernity were both revolutionary and aggressive. The printing press enabled Martin Luther’s reaction against the Catholic Church, the three-masted sailing ship made possible the almost instantaneous conquest of much of the Western Hemisphere by Spain and a handful of adventurers. The press put paid to the Church’s monopoly on information and by doing so ended Rome’s position as mediator of public and private affairs across Europe. The sailing ship took rapacious Europeans to every corner of the world, to pillage what they could, to colonize and enslave as far as the oceans could carry them. The roots of technology are in war and revolution, its branches are crimes and misery, death and ruin; we obsess about the flowers while we choose to endure- or ignore the rest.

Like a wrench or a saw, technology offers leverage: the policies that spring from it are entirely self-referential and self-contained. A saw either cuts or it doesn’t; what happens otherwise is never an issue, what matters is the ‘efficiency’ of the cut. Technology sets its own terms. To the saw everything looks like a piece of wood; analysis is reduced to these terms and none other. The observed purpose of technology to expand itself; it is both ends and means simultaneously, with one justifying and reinforcing the other. Spain’s conquests and Luther’s bid for reform set into motion social and economic events that culminated a century later with the Thirty Years War and the annihilation of a quarter of Europe’s inhabitants. On its own terms, Auschwitz was a very good concentration camp, it was able to murder over a million harmless Europeans and provide industry with a million more as slaves at very low ‘per unit’ cost; with very little fuss. Objections were- and are nothing more than sentimentality; those Jews and Russians were all going to die, anyway.

By way of the internal logic of technology, the most outrageous crimes are nothing other than ordinary, predictable mechanical processes. Technology ‘does’ because it ‘is’, there is are no other reasons, in fact reasoning is never part of the industrial equation; here there is never a why. Like the genie and the bottle, technology cannot be ‘un-invented’, it can only be replaced by newer, more revolutionary and warlike versions, or forgotten or starved of the materials it needs to continue. The failure of technology is that while it offers reach and grasp it cannot provide things that are inherently peaceful and accommodating. It is the same with economics, which produces ‘wealth’ but cannot provide money that is impossible to steal.

Within the version of ‘modern’ that Farben conjured as it trundled along, the firm itself was an unexceptional component as were the materialist anti-philosophy and the baggage of self-driven rationalizations that went along with it. Like gravity in Einstein’s universe, Farben ‘bent’ the space of modernity, adapting everything within it to itself. Whatever was in that space was Farben’s property, to do with what it pleased. This included the humans who were victims of the company as well as the governments that victimized them for the company’s profit. Outside the curve, the firm’s products existed for no other reason other than they did not exist before, what was to be done with them after they were delivered and the warranty ran out was never the company’s business … According to the internal logic of technology — not just Farben’s — the product was- and is always neutral; guns don’t kill people, neither do explosives, nerve gas, cars or atomic bombs, tanks, drones or air-to-surface missiles. Hannah Arendt observed of the blandly innocuous Standard Oil of New York employee Adolf Eichmann:

The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together for it implied – as had been said at Nuremberg over and over again by the defendants and their counsels – that this new type of criminal, who is in actual act hostis generis humani, commits his crime – under circumstances that make it well-nigh impossible for him to know or to feel that he is doing wrong.

Eichmann, like Arendt’s ‘others’, was a product … of what-ever branch of industrialization, it does not matter. He was more deadly than some, less so than others. Accompanying Eichmann in the dock was the banality of technology, the dumbest of all automatons; without comprehension or sense; a Golem made of nitrate and rubber hovering both in- and outside good and evil not quite one nor the other, all things being exactly the same. This is the logic and tyranny of the machine, the false idol we have decided it is best for us to live in the center of.

Gerhard Schrader aimed to end world hunger; in the process of developing pesticides he discovered the nerve agent Tabun, that was later produced in large quantities by Farben. The chemical turned out to be difficult to handle and for that reason and for others, it was never deployed. Haber’s ammonia synthesis offered the same benign promise, to feed the hungry. In 1914, Haber without hesitation volunteered his expertise to the Kaiser government, to develop and deploy poison gas during the war, having a personal hand in the first use of chlorine during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915. “During peacetime a scientist belongs to the world,” said Haber, “during wartime he belongs to his country.” Ammonia synthesis was the foundation of Imperial German firepower, without BASF’s explosive compounds, the German assault on the rest of Europe would not have been possible. Hitler’s war would have been stillborn without the ability of Farben to synthesize motor fuels and rubber — and to obtain essential compounds as well as intelligence from its American partner Standard Oil. The conventional narrative casts Hitler as the convenient villain; that the rest of the German government, its helpful industries and naive populace were dupes. That Hitler was a villain there is no doubt. The narrative one step further makes Farben the industrial villain and that its fleet of partners and lenders, including Brown Brothers Harriman, Standard Oil, Shell Oil, Morgan Bank and the Bank of England were dupes as well. Another step further and the German Schutzstaffel-SS were the evil actors that the Farben executives were taken advantage of; this narrative held longer and was very convenient as scores of Farben executives took high-level management positions within the firms that succeeded Farben: Agfa, BASF, Bayer AG and Hoechst (merged with other companies).

Technology pushes back limits, but cannot eliminate them. It only goes so far, providing some solutions but not all of them. Farben offers a window allowing technology to reveal its shortcomings, it also a means to understand Germany, which to a large degree was a product of the dye firms that were the parent of the IG Farben company.

– All the answers are wrong: the long shadow of Farben.

– Germany, like the United States, emerged from the crucible of war. They also emerged against the same adversary.

– The First and Second European wars were started for the same reason, Germany lost both wars for identical — but different — reasons. Technology gave Germany the chance at success in its wars but technology proved to be irrelevant at the end.

The Dimming Bulb 2: Peak Electricity

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 18, 2015

City Lights 2012 - Flat mapComposite Night Image of the Earth taken by the NASA Suomi NPP Satellite in April-October 2012

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LAST CHANCE TO TAKE THE ENERGY SURVEY BEFORE THE COUNT!

A few days ago, doing my usual Web Surfing for Collapse articles to link to on the Diner and our new r/globalcollapse Reddit sub, I ran into an article on the Greanville Post titled WHAT IS EUROPE. CONTINENT OR PENINSULA?

europe-map-of-europe-nightlights-satellite-woodleywonderworksThe article featured as its Header Pic a NASA image of Europe taken at night from Space.  The image is actually just a crop of the much larger composite night time map of the world assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite from April through October 2012, which I reduced in size and heads this article.   The full size pic in all its glory can be accessed by hitting the link under the header photo to the NASA website.

What that article was meant to show was how Europe really isn't a "Continent", although it is defined as such in most of your Geography Textbooks, but really just a Peninsula of the much larger Eurasian land mass.  However, that is not what really struck me when I looked at the Header Pic, what struck me was the vast difference between the Brightness of the Eurozone versus the Darkness of the African continent below, at least the portion of it visible in that cropping.  Africa is the "Dark Continent" in more ways than one here.

During the middle of the 19th century, Africa was referred to as the "Dark Continent," because little was known about the mysterious land itself. The term "Dark Continent" was most likely used for the first time by United States explorer and journalist Henry Stanley.

Obviously, with that thin band of lights on the Northern end of Africa, it's pretty obvious they're burning a whole lot less energy there than is going on nightly on the European Peninsula.  Although most often conversation amongst Energy Kollapsniks TM revolves around the availability of Liquid Fossil Fuels for powering the transportation systems we use, in reality it is the Electricity that defines the culture and lifestyle of Homo Industrialis.  When you look at the whole Map of the Globe lit up like a Suburban McMansion at Christmas, you can actually track the progression of Industrialization; you can see why the countries that are in control of Industrial culture are who they are and why everybody else out there is not particularly happy these days.  I have discussed this aspect of Industrial Civilization and Electricity before in The Dimming Bulb, in this installment I want to look at it from the Historical and Geopolitical perspectives.

You can easily tell where the Industrial lifestyle began, and you can trace it's march around the Globe as well.  The Brightness of the lighting tells the whole story if you know just a little history, and it tells you a lot about where things are going in the future too.  Before we go Back to the Future though, let's do a little review of how this all got started.

Practical application of Electricity began in the mid 1800s, and by the late 1800s the frst central power stations came online in Jolly Old England and in the Northeast of the FSoA.

Central power stations and isolated systems

The first central station providing public power is believed to be one at Godalming, Surrey, U.K. autumn 1881. The system was proposed after the town failed to reach an agreement on the rate charged by the gas company, so the town council decided to use electricity. The system lit up arc lamps on the main streets and incandescent lamps on a few side streets with hydroelectric power. By 1882 between 8 and 10 households were connected, with a total of 57 lights. The system was not a commercial success and the town reverted to gas.[16]

The first large scale central distribution supply plant was opened at Holborn Viaduct in London in 1882[17] Equipped with 1000 incandescent lightbulbs that replaced the older gas lighting, the station lit up Holborn Circus including the offices of the General Post Office and the famous City Temple church. The supply was a direct current at 110V; due to power loss in the copper wires, this amounted to 100V for the customer.

Within weeks, a parliamentary committee recommended passage of the landmark 1882 Electric Lighting Act, which allowed the licensing of persons, companies or local authorities to supply electricity for any public or private purposes.

The first large scale central power station in America was Edison's Pearl Street Station in New York, which began operating in September, 1882. The station had six 200 horsepower Edison dynamos, each powered by a separate steam engine. It was located in a business and commercial district and supplied 110 volt direct current to 85 customers with 400 lamps. By 1884 Pearl Street was supplying 508 customers with 10,164 lamps.[18]

By the mid-1880s, other electric companies were establishing central power stations and distributing electricity, including Crompton & Co. and the Swan Electric Light Company in the UK, Thomson-Houston Electric Company and Westinghouse in the US and Siemens in Germany. By 1890 there were 1000 central stations in operation.[7] The 1902 census listed 3,620 central stations. By 1925 half of power was provided by central stations.[19]

City Lights 2012 - Flat map Lights UK April-October 2012

City Lights 2012 - Flat mapLights NE USA April-October 2012


The wiring spread outward from there, and India got wired up pretty well.

City Lights 2012 - Flat mapIndia Lights April-October 2012

South America a bit less wired.

south-america-space-nightLights South America April-October 2012

Africa barely got wired at all.

Africa_Space_NightLights Africa April-October 2012

So how come India got wired up but Africa did not?  Ask yourself who was running the show in India in the 1800s?  It was the main colony of the declining British Empire, the one the Sun Never Set On because they were running all those new Lightbulbs!  LOL.  The Brits were not at the time in charge of Africa, really nobody was far as Westerners were concerned, that's why it got called the Dark Continent, besides the fact it was populated by dark skinned natives.

As time went by into the early 1900s, a couple of other places got decently wired up, Japan & China.

City Lights 2012 - Flat mapLights China & Japan April-October 2012

In the mid to late 1800s, the Anglo-Amerikan Industrial Empire was in an Expansionary Phase, and the Gunboats of Cmdr. Matthew Perry "opened" Japan forcibly in the 1850s to join the expanding Industrial Empire, as I covered some time back in the Mr. Peabody Visits Japan article. Still in the Coal fired period at this time, the Gunboats weren't using Oil yet.  The Brits were bizzy trying to make China the same kind of colony that India was, but unfortunately had some Boxers willing to fight them on this.

By the end of the 19th century, the Western powers and Japan had forced China’s ruling Qing dynasty to accept wide foreign control over the country’s economic affairs. In the Opium Wars (1839-42, 1856-60), popular rebellions and the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95), China had fought to resist the foreigners, but it lacked a modernized military and suffered millions of casualties.

The Chinese weren't happy Kowtowing to the Japanese, and the Japanese weren't happy Kowtowing to the Gaijin Imperialists either, so everybody got in a big ass fight over this eventually.  The fight was called WWII, which got ended with this:

https://awesometalks.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/ng30.jpg

The Nips were outclassed with Industrial Killing and their well wired Island was turned into an Industrial Factory for Carz and Electronic toys, starting with Transistor Radios moving through Walkmans up to the latest in Smartphones, though of course in recent years have had serious competition on this stuff from the other slaves on the Asian Continent from Korea to Thailand to China.

However, at this point in the post-WWII years the further Wiring of the World began to slow, if not come to a complete halt.  With the Victory over Japan and Germany, why was further electrification of Africa and South America not undertaken?  SA is a little more wired than Africa, but not by much.

south-america-space-nightLights South America April-October 2012

As with most places that have been wired up post WWII, it's mostly along the coastline not much going into the interior.  There are a few reasons for this.

First one is that by and large, most population centers and Big Shities lie along the coastlines.  Reasons for this?

1- It's easiest to do trade with many places via boats.  You can put a lot of cargo on a boat and move it around the world over the oceans without using a whole heck of a lot of energy to do it.  In fact in the Sailing Era, that energy was all Renewable.

http://www.portmellon.net/uploads/1/0/0/7/10078822/5846457_orig.jpg

Even in the modern Container Ship era utilizing Fossil Fuels, this is relatively low energy consumption.  The ships can run on "Bunker Fuel", which is basically unrefined Oil.

http://www.transinfo.am/img/services/big/1392130262-7142.jpeg

2- Coastline areas are usually pretty flat land condusive to large scale Agriculture.  The fresh water flows down from higher elevations to these neighborhoods, so you have a continuous source of water if you are at the mouth of a decent size river, long as nobody upstream is using it all or contaminating it.  New York Shity at the terminus of the Hudson River or London at the terminus of the Thames river are typical examples of this.

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/estuaries/media/est01c_600.jpg

http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/14/78514-004-9E98EDAD.jpg

3- It's relatively EZ to get rid of all your WASTE if you are right on the coast.  The Sewage goes into the Big Sink of the Ocean.

https://www.sydneywater.com.au/Publications/Reports/AnnualReport/2007/images/WollongongSTP_above.jpg

Woolongong Sewage Treatment Plant in Oz

So the vast increase in global population since the Industrial Era began has occurred mostly at the coastlines, which of course is not Good Newz with Sea Level rising.  Just ask Miami.

http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/miami-flooding.jpg

For the most part, the Build Out phase stopped in the early 1970s at the latest, and the last 40 years has been all about continuing to bring in the necessary energy to all the places already built out to keep running them.  In some of the older industrial Big Shities like Detroit, that has already failed/collapsed.

http://opencityprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/7499108236_7fd417857d_c.jpg

So your next question is just how does all the energy flow INTO the places it still goes to?  This is a pipeline and transport question mainly, although there are many geopolitical conseqences of trying to take energy stores from one location and move them to another one.  Let's look at the current pipeline networks for Oil and NG in North Amerika and Eurotrashland.

http://www.refinerlink.com/userfiles/RL%20MAD%20Pipeline%20Map.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YDdCkW9AqmY/UT31FYeVCDI/AAAAAAAABdc/1239kdVouUc/s1600/pipeline+accidents+final+animation1-2.gif


As you can see the greatest density of pipeline networks is in the TX/LA/OK neighborhood, and then filtering up from there to the North East and Upper Midwest.  This of course because in the early days, all the BIG FINDS of EZ to extract low EROEI oil in the FSoA came in these locations, and then that oil needed transport to the Industrial centers of the Midwest and to the Northeast trading ports with Europe.

As the amount of oil that could be extracted at a cheap price inside FSoA borders began to decline, those same networks were used to ship around Oil accessed/stolen from other big repositories on earth, most notably Saudi Arabia of course.  The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) was built to be able to offload oil from VLCCs (Very Large Crude Carriers), more commonly referred to as Super Tankers.

http://wwwsp.dotd.la.gov/Inside_LaDOTD/Divisions/Multimodal/LOOP/Loop%20Images/clove.gifhttp://wwwsp.dotd.la.gov/Inside_LaDOTD/Divisions/Multimodal/LOOP/Loop%20Images/loop.gif

A few more large pipelines were built as time went by to move the oil out of the ground to the places that were burning it, most notably the Alaska Pipeline:

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) includes the trans-Alaska crude-oil pipeline, 12 pump stations, several hundred miles of feeder pipelines, and the Valdez Marine Terminal. TAPS is one of the world's largest pipeline systems. It is commonly called the Alaska pipeline, trans-Alaska pipeline, or Alyeska pipeline, (or the pipeline as referred to in Alaska), but those terms technically apply only to the 800 miles (1,287 km) of the pipeline with the diameter of 48 inches (122 cm) that conveys oil from Prudhoe Bay, to Valdez, Alaska. The crude oil pipeline is privately owned by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.

The pipeline was built between 1974 and 1977 after the 1973 oil crisis caused a sharp rise in oil prices in the United States. This rise made exploration of the Prudhoe Bay oil field economically feasible. Environmental, legal, and political debates followed the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay in 1968, and the pipeline was built only after the oil crisis provoked the passage of legislation designed to remove legal challenges to the project.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Trans_alaska_international.jpg

http://assets.enuygun.com/media/lib/750x525/uploads/image/2880.jpeg

As the Wiki article indicates, it only became economical to build this behemoth of a pipeline after the Arab Oil embargo of the 1970s drove up the price of Oil.  Lately there has been talk about building a natural gas (NG) pipeline out of there, either going across into Canada to join up with the current system of NG pipelines down there, or along the same route as the Oil pipeline down through Alaska, to be shipped out by liquifying the gas and dropping it onto specialized Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) ships, for sale then to the Japanese and Chinese slaves.

The problem with either of these pipelines being built is that the price you can get for NG doesn't justify the CapEx for building it.  You'll never even pay off building the pipeline, much less make a profit off of it at the current prices.  You would have to bet the price the consumer will pay for it will rise substantially, but how can that happen with fewer people working all the time at ever downward spiralling wages?  So both projects have stalled, although the Alaska Goobernator is still pushing for it because something is necessary to keep the economy running around here as the Oil in the Prudhoe Bay fields depletes and gets lower prices all the time.  He's got a huge hole in the state budget these days, and things are getting desperate down in Juneau.

Stalling also is the drive for further Oil exploration either in the Arctic Ocean or the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).  Shell Oil recently stopped their exploration there after sinking around $9B into that White Elephant, and this week Da Goobermint decided not to offer up any leases for the oil companies to even bid on.  Why not?  Because they will get the same result that the Brazilians got a couple of weeks ago when they offered up leases for sale in the supposed Giant Oil Reservoirs in Deep Water off their shores.  They got no bidders practically speaking.  Same as the NG pipeline for Alaska, with the price of Oil as low as it is, the CapEx involved in accessing and drilling up this Oil is huge, and you can't pay it off at the prices the consumers of the oil can afford to pay.  Although Environmentalists are gladdened by this decision and hope some Polar Bears will be saved, this decision has nothing to do with Environmental consciousness on the part of Da Goobermint or the Oil Companies.  It's strictly an economic decision.

Now let's move over to Europe, where you see a similar history and similar economic issues as far as continuing to move the Oil from under the ground where it still remains to the places that have been burning it since Oil replaced Coal as the main energy driver for their industrial economy.  First, let's look at the Pipeline Maps for Europe:

http://static1.squarespace.com/static/546f7732e4b095d2722abd0f/t/5499bde8e4b0439c6133934f/1419361773962/?format=750w

http://www.mappery.com/maps/Proposed-European-Crude-Oil-Pipelines-Map.mediumthumb.gif

As you can see, similar to the build out of Oil Pipelines in North America from where the Oil was found down in TX and OK to where it was burned in places like Detroit and Cleveland in the early part of the 20th Century, pipelines were built to take Oil from where it was found in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and bring it to the Industrial Factories  where it was being burned, primarily in Britain and Germany in the early 20th Century.  While the Boxers were fighting in China, you had a similar battle going on in Europe over who would get to control the Oil coming from MENA, and the first big battle was fought for this, that was WWI.

http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/n3mzmahboqu4lhmtgqkp.jpg

The Brits won this war against the Krauts, with the assistance of their then still flush with oil former colony of the Amurkans.  They carved up MENA into a bunch of random countries from the old Ottoman Empire with the Sykes-Picot Agreement to insure the flow of energy would come their way after the war.

The Sykes–Picot Agreement, officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was a secret agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and France,[1] with the assent of Russia, defining their proposed spheres of influence and control in the Middle East should the Triple Entente succeed in defeating the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The negotiation of the treaty occurred between November 1915 and March 1916.[2] The agreement was concluded on 16 May 1916.[3]

The agreement effectively divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire outside the Arabian peninsula into areas of future British and French control or influence.[4] An "international administration" was proposed for Palestine.[5] The terms were negotiated by the French diplomat François Georges-Picot and Briton Sir Mark Sykes. The Russian Tsarist government was a minor party to the Sykes–Picot agreement, and when, following the Russian Revolution of October 1917, the Bolsheviks exposed the agreement, "the British were embarrassed, the Arabs dismayed and the Turks delighted."[6]

As you can see here, even prior to WWII and the Holocaust, there was an "agreement" about Palestine, later to become Israel.  Essentially, Israel was designed to be the Military Base from which to maintain control over all of MENA Oil assets.  Endless Military Aid has been furnished to the Israelis since WWII as a means to maintain this control, and the warfare down there between the Israelis and all the Arab states which surround them has been virtually continuous since WWII.

Despite the ongoing wars down there through the time period, overall the Oil was successfully transported through the pipeline system to the factories in Northern Europe, and even the Krauts who lost both WWI and WWII actually did fine here, since the same banksters financed both sides in the battle and after the war was finished, refinanced rebuilding of all the factories in both Britain and Germany that had been destroyed in the war to begin with!  LOL.

Like North America with the building of the Alaska Pipeline, the Northern Europeans also got a fresh infusion of Juice with the discovery of North Sea Oil, and both Britain and Norway got a big bonus from this over the last 40 years, but this bonanza is starting to run thin now, and there are no new good sources of local Oil to be accessed at anything within a reasonable price range to justify the CapEx.  So the Western European Nations are getting desperate for Oil and NG, and their last, best hope for this is…the RUSKIES!

Mother Russia still has a decent supply of Oil left, not just in the Arctic Ocean but out there in the vast land mass of Siberia too!  What's the problem?  PIPELINES!  Getting the Oil from where it still is in Mother Russia to where the Eurotrash would like to burn it will take extensive construction of new pipelines, which in some cases are even longer than the fucking Alaska Pipeline!  Besides that, the Eurotrash are competing against the Chinese, who would like to have new pipelines for this treasure trove of still remaining Fossil Fuel Energy piped in THEIR direction.  Who if either will the Banksters finance for contstruction of said new pipelines?  Just like Alaska, they won't fund either one of them, because there is no Return on Investment (ROI).  in no place left on Earth is it possible to sell the energy at a price the consumer can afford to pay for it.

Knowing all of this, it is now possible to predict where the Lights will go off first and how the Powerdown off Industrial Civilization will proceed.

You have two Legacy Infrastructure Projects here, built out from the beginning of the 20th Century to move the energy around, the Electrical Grid and the Pipeline Network.  Both systems are decaying, and the ROI for either fixing and maintaining what has already been built or for building new ones simply is not there anymore.  It just costs too much to drag the energy out of the ground and move it over to places where fewer and fewer people all the time can afford to burn it.  The persistent GROWTH necessary to finance such a system has come to a halt now.  The population of Homo Sap across the whole planet has exceeded the capacity of the planet to support that population on an Environmental and Resource level, and so that population must and will contract.  The easily accessed Fossil Fuel Energy that allowed for the exponential growth of this population is now all gone, it exists now as CO2 up in the atmosphere.

The population of Homo Sap will begin its decline first in the Peripheral countries, better known as the "3rd World".  Similarly, the Lights will start going off first in these countries, and the Legacy Pipeline and Electrical Grid systems that deliver the Energy to the 1st World Nations will continue to function a while longer, but become ever more difficult to maintain and to continue to input new Energy to ever more impoverished consumers of the Energy, and they too will then begin to shut down one by one at first perhaps, but at some point the whole system will crash.  This may occur in tandem with or shortly after the crash of the monetary system controlling this distribution of Energy.

The Last Big Shities to still have Lights On from central grid power?  In all probability, Berlin,the City of London and New York Shity on Wall Street, the centers of the Finance that built the whole system to begin with.  When the Lights Go Out on Broadway, you can say that TEOTWAWKI has arrived.  It may take a little while yet, but you can watch the progress inward, you can see it happening in real time.  It's not a conjecture anymore, it's reality.

More Econ & Energy Blogs & Rants off the keyboard & microphone of the Rogue Economist, AKA Reverse Engineer

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Nasty

gc2smOff the keyboard of Jason Heppenstall

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Published on 22 Billion Energy Slaves on September 17, 2015

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I was having a cup of tea with a friend in his polytunnel the other day and he was telling me about how hard it was to live a simple life minding his own business. He's about ten years younger than me, is married and has a kid on the way, and they live on a three acre plot of land which they bought with their own money and manage using permaculture. They work every day of the week, have practically no money and their ecological footprint is probably so small it might even not register, and yet they are suffering from endless harassment to get them evicted and complaints from nearby wealthy residents who feel that people shouldn't be allowed to live as they please. My friend had a simple explanation for all this, he said that as a nation and a culture, we are basically nasty and intolerant.

This got me thinking. Britain, after all, was the first industrialised nation. We had the enclosures acts from the 17th century onwards which kicked people off the land and turned it over to the pseudo industrial practice of sheep farming (the rearing of 'woolly maggots' as George Monbiot describes them). Wealth has been concentrated at the top for so long and the society has been stratified by class that imagining normal people living and working in the countryside is practically impossible for most.

Our culture is a dominator one. Due to a geological accident regarding coal, combined with a military nature and a lust for foreign goods, we ended up being the world's largest empire. When colonisers arrived in Australia and encountered Aboriginal people, instead of making friends with them they buried their children up to their necks in the sand and played a game where you had to kick off their heads with a single powerful kick. In India we caused mass famines and when people complained we machine-gunned them down. We did the same in plenty of other countries too. We divided up vast expanses of Africa, Asia and the Middle East and drew lines on maps which caused huge upheavals and sectarian violence. Nelson razed Copenhagen with naval bombardment, just for fun, and we devised the world's first concentration camps during the Boer War, and enthusiastically firebombed cities during the Second World War. And then, even when we stopped being an empire, we spawned Margaret Thatcher whose enthusiasm for the ideas of neoliberalism was enthusiastically passed onto Ronald Reagan and forced upon the world.

People don't like to talk about any of these aspects of Britishness. They prefer to talk about the engineering marvels we brought to India and how we taught the world to speak English. We brought football, cricket and tennis to the natives, and helped them become civilised. They might concede that there was the odd 'dark chapter' but that overall the empire building was all good and proper.

I was in London a couple of weeks ago and took the opportunity to visit the City (i.e. the financial district) to do a bit of background research for my online book Seat of Mars. Leaving Liverpool Street station one passes by a bronze statue of some refugee children. I looked at the inscription and it was a dedication to the selfless efforts of local people who took in 10,000 Jewish children from Germany prior to the Second World War. Valiant stuff, but this is the statue that many of the 35,000 City workers walk past every morning as they head for their high rises to unleash further financial mayhem on the world. How many millions of people has the City of London killed in the last few decades? It's a valid question, but don't hold your breath for an answer. Yet these City workers, for the most part, see themselves as good people. They run marathons to raise funds for cancer research, they donate money on Children in Need night, and they buy kittens for their kids. I have some friends who are City bankers and they are not evil people (though we don't have much to talk about these days). Hell, I was once almost a banker myself, luckily fluffing my interview at Citi.
 

 

 

So maybe it's just the system that is evil.

But then I see evil everywhere. I see the attack dogs set onto Jeremy Corby for daring to suggest scrapping nuclear weapons. I see evil in the pages of the Daily Mail and the Telegraph as they attempt to character assassinate anyone who wants to stop global warming, or as they incite violence against refugees. I see evil in the countryside where farmers and rich people collude to kill the wildlife in the most painful and inhumane ways possible. Fracking is evil. Bombing by drones is evil. Hosting arms fairs is evil.

 

 

Of course, if you say these things to people they will call you a traitor and a 'Brit hater'. They will point out that it's not their fault, all those wars of conquest, and that they have no need to feel guilty – even though our way of life is funded by one-sided trade deals, easy access to energy and a ponzi system of finance that allows us to continue to rack up astronomical levels of debt and consume huge bites of the world's resource pie. I'm not a Brit-hater – there are far too many positive aspects of life in these isles – but that doesn't mean I have to be an apologist for the less-than-wholesome aspects.

Perhaps my friend had a point.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps it is a case that those in the top positions are psychopaths, willing to do anything and everything to consolidate their power and enslave the masses using mind control techniques. I know plenty of people who are not evil. As a matter of fact, I don't think I know anyone who is evil. Most people, it seems to me, are good at heart. They want to help. They want to love one another. They want to stop the destruction of the world. These are the people it is best to hang around with – they're better for for soul and your sanity.

So why do we collectively put up with all this evilness? Is it because badness has a natural advantage over goodness? Do evil plans always work out in the 'real' world and good ones are just 'idealistic dreaming'? Does the devil have all the best tunes?

I have a theory. Could it be that it is because Britain is an island that was once fabled for its gold and tin mines? That it has been invaded again and again since the end of the last ice age, and that the settler populations always selected for the most war-like? For me, you could forgive the Anglo Saxons and the Romans, but it was the Normans that did it. With their Scandinavian blood, their aristocratic French ways and their lust for conquering – the country changed dramatically after 1066. One of the first things they did was catalogue all the people, land and assets in the Domesday Book. Invasion, murder and cataloguing – the start of the dominator culture. It's been almost 1,000 years and still the top landowners in this country can trace their lineages back to the Normans. Or maybe there is some kind of supernatural explanation …

So, no, I don't think we are evil. Just some of us. The ones with the power. And the ability to project that power has been multiplied a thousand-fold since we discovered that you could burn coal and use it to power engines. So will we see a future where access to limited high-concentration energy also leads to a corresponding drop in the ability of bad men (yes, it's mostly men) to do bad things? One can only hope so.

Who knows, maybe in 500 years time it will be possible to live on a small piece of land and raise a family without having the collective wrath of a millennium of dominator culture threatening to fall down and crush you just for wanting not to be a part of that system.

The German question

Off the keyboard of Pepe Escobar
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Originally published in Ron May 8, 2015

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Seventy years after the end of World War II, and twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany is once again under the grip of ‘sturm und drang’, but this time barely registered in either East or West.

Without a serious attempt at myth busting, it’s impossible to discern what could be interpreted as a new, discreet German attempt at hegemony.

Contrary to a myth currently propagated by US ‘Think Tankland’, political Berlin under Chancellor Merkel is not a mediator between a still hegemonic US and an “aggressive” Russia.

The reality is Berlin, at least for the moment, would rather give the impression of singing Washington’s tune – with minor variations – while chastising Russia. That’s the case even when we consider the solid energy/trade/business ties with Moscow, as in Germany importing a third of its natural gas, and German industry/companies/corporations hugely invested in Russia.

Contrary to a second myth, political Berlin does not seek “stability” in Europe’s eastern borderlands, but rather outright vassalage. The relentless Eastern European integration to the EU, led by Berlin, was as much a strategy to open new markets for German exports as to erect a buffer between Germany and Russia. As for the Baltic States, they are already vassals; Germany is the largest trading partner for all three.

Yet another myth is that Berlin cannot lift – counterproductive – sanctions against Moscow as long as “security” of Central and Eastern Europe is not assured. The reality is that Germany would rather exert total political/economic control over the periphery of the former USSR.

As for the EU itself, now mired in a post-democratic, un-egalitarian, austerity-ravaged toxic environment, with no discernible way out, Germany already rules, politically and economically.

Deutschland under control?
Amidst the current EU intellectual quagmire where, to quote Yeats, “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity” – think puny neoliberal ideologues scurrying under their sinecures in that Kafkaesque temple of mediocrity, Brussels – a modern Diogenes would be hard pressed to find an informed observer capable of seizing up Germany’s game.

Thus the glaring exception of historian and anthropologist Emmanuel Todd, author of the seminal 2002 essay After the Empire which showed no mercy in its cartography of American decline. In a long 2014 www.les-crises.fr interview, centered on Germany, Todd hits the geopolitical ball out of the park.

Todd deeply worries about the West’s dysfunction – manifested at its prime in Europe being “virtually at war with Russia”. He sees the anxious, sick West’s “fixation” on Russia as the search for a scapegoat, or better, “the creation of an enemy, necessary to maintain a minimal coherence of the West. The European Union was created against the USSR; it cannot do without Russia as an adversary.”

And yet, behind the EU, there’s the real deal; the German project, which Todd identifies as a project of power, driven “to compress demand in Germany, to enslave the debt-ridden countries of the South, to put to work the Eastern Europeans, to throw some peanuts to the French banking system.” And that project of power could not but open the ominous door to Germany’s “immense potential for political irrationality” – a theme very much prominent now with all those rehashes of the fall of the Reich.

Todd identifies what Lacan would dub the great European non-dit (“not enunciated”); “The key to the control of Europe by the United States, which is the inheritance of the victory of 1945, is the control of Germany.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet now the control is dissolving, albeit chaotically, and that means “the beginning of the dissolution of the American imperium.” And imperial decline – visible in myriad declinations – leads Todd to a bombshell; the real threat to the US, much more dangerous than Russia – “which is external to the empire” – is Germany.

And what about the threat to Russia from Germany? Todd strongly implies the populations of Russian language, culture and identity are being attacked in Eastern Ukraine with "the approval and support" of the European Union – which is a fact. At the same time, he interprets the Russian "silence" about it not "as in the French and the American case, a refusal to see reality,” but as good diplomacy; "They need time. Their self-control, their professionalism, compels admiration." Try finding this kind of analysis in CIA-infested European corporate media.

“Europe” out, Germany in
So what Todd is essentially gaming here is “the emergence of a new face-to-face between two great systems: the American continent-nation, and this new German empire, a political-economic empire which people continue to call ‘Europe’ out of habit.” And yes, he’s got a compelling case.

Using a political science concept coined by Belgian anthropologist Pierre van den Berghe, Todd qualifies the German system as “un-egalitarian domination”; whatever equality is left concerns only the dominant, as in German citizens. Welcome, then, to Herrenvolk democracy – the “democracy of the master people.”

Todd bolsters his case by pointing to the dynamism of the German economy as based in the former USSR satellites; “Part of the success of our German neighbors stems from the fact that the communists were much interested in education. They left behind them, not only obsolete industrial systems, but also populations that were remarkably well educated.”

So “annexing” the populations of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, etc, meant Germany reorganizing its industrial base using low-cost labor. But then there’s a major “if”; Todd believes Germany might also “annex” an active population of 45 million in Ukraine, “with its good level of training inherited from the Soviet period.”

Not only that’s extremely unlikely; Moscow has been explicit this is a red line. Moreover, “Ukraine” is a failed state in terminal disintegration, now a lowly, de facto, IMF colony, whose only interest for the “West” is rich agricultural land to be plundered by Monsanto and cohorts.

“He hasn’t seen Germany coming”
The fun really starts when Todd examines the mess “classical American geopoliticians of the ‘European’ tradition,” are in. He had to be talking mostly about notorious Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski; “Obsessed by Russia, he hasn’t seen Germany coming.”

Todd correctly notes how Dr. Zbig “has not seen that the American military might, by extending NATO all the way to the Baltic States, to Poland… was in fact cutting out an empire for Germany, at first economic, but at present already political.” And in parallel to what I have been examining for years now, he hints that “the extension of NATO to the East could in the end bring about a version B of Brzezinski’s nightmare: a reunification of Eurasia independently of the United States.”

The clincher is to be savored like the best Armagnac; “Faithful to his Polish origins, he feared a Eurasia under Russian control. He is now running the risk to go down in History as another one of these absurd Poles who, out of hatred of Russia, have insured the greatness of Germany.”

For the moment, political Germany – but not its industrialists – has chosen to continue to be subjugated to the US/NATO as Chancellor Merkel appears to be enforcing the encircling of Russia.

The Reichstag building, the seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Todd nailed it, Germany painstakingly organized its EU hegemony on the basis this disparate basket of nations would provide Berlin with the economy of scale to win against its main industrial competitor, the US. Yet Germany lacks energy – oil and gas. Supply from Africa and the Middle East is inherently unstable.

So this is how we come to another scenario circulating among what Bauman called “nomad elites of liquid modernity”; not think tanks or Western intel agencies.

According to this scenario, instead of a EU trying to work with Russia, we have Berlin trying to undermine Moscow to ultimately seize financial control of Russia’s immense resources; back to those good old disaster capitalism Yeltsin days, when everything was collapsing other than Russia’s natural resource production.

After all the ‘New Great Game’ is mostly about control of the natural gas, oil and resources of Russia and Central Asia. Will they be controlled by oligarch fronts supervised by their masters in London and New York, or by the Russian state? And once Russia had been subdued, then the Central Asian “stans”, especially gas republic Turkmenistan, would also be free to do Germany’s bidding.

But for the moment, it’s all shadow play. Merkel utters platitudes about the Minsk ceasefire – when every serious player knows Kiev breaks it on an everyday basis. Berlin works backstage to keep the proverbial “reluctant players” – Italy, Greece, Hungary – on board with sanctions on Russia while spinning it’s doing its best to contain hysterical Poland and Lithuania.

Merkel is very much aware the US prosecutes much of its drone war out of Germany while the BND – German intel – spies for the NSA on the French, the European Commission (EC) and even German industry.

So she will never directly antagonize Washington – as she in fact mostly fears German Atlanticists, while posing about Putin and the Kremlin living “in a different world.” Berlin and Moscow continue to talk diplomatically, but the mood tends to the tone deaf.

The new exceptionalism
Todd is one of the few who at least are setting alarm bells ringing. As in this formulation: “German culture is un-egalitarian: it makes difficult the acceptance of a world of equals. When they are feeling that they are the strongest, the Germans will take very badly the refusal of the weaker to obey, a refusal which they perceive as unnatural, unreasonable.”

Once again, we’re in the realm of exceptionalism, but now with the added, historically troubling German penchant for political irrationality. The new, remixed lebensraum may revolve around an ever-expanding export powerhouse – adding on global trade by using educated, low-cost labor. While the Reich disintegrated in a larger than life folly seventy years ago, the new deal accomplished a dream; as Todd characterizes it, there are two great “developed industrial worlds” today, America and “this new German empire.”

He sees Russia as a “secondary question” and he has not examined China’s long game; thus he’s not focused – as in my own case – on myriad moves toward Eurasia integration. But what he’s concentrating on is no less than a thriller for the ages, a “completely different future for the twenty years to come, other than the East-West conflict;” Germany rising – and the US and Germany inevitably clashing, all over again. History may yet repeat itself as (lethal) farce after all.


Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

An alternative view: lest we forget on Remembrance Sunday.

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog onNovember 9, 2014

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An alternative view: lest we forget on Remembrance Sunday.

You can persuade me of many things. But not that my Dad giving up three years of his life was worth it….or made any difference to anything

Last night marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today is the 96th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The Wall existed in the first place because Soviet fascism knew no other way to keep its captives inside the cage. It was also a direct result of the collapse of Germany in 1945. Idiot holocaust denial claptrap about numbers aside, Hitler came to power on the back of an inflationary depression for which the Jews were largely blamed…and in which the currency was referred to as Jüdenkonfetti. My father read Mein Kampf in 1937, and immediately volunteered for the RAF. He was right wing, but an idealist with insight who knew the Nazis were coming.

You may think all these somewhat random observations, but in fact they are closely interlinked. What we should Remember on the Remembrance Sunday is just how we much can learn from the past…and just how little changes in the future if we don’t learn from the past. You may need to read that twice or more often. Then continue as normal.

The First World War began in August 1914 because a collection of six treaties had been signed, a very obscure radical had assassinated a fairly obscure Archduke, and two sides of the same Royal family were playing a game called Battleships. Somewhere between 8 and 10 million people died as a result. For nothing. You can be certain it was for nothing, because Germany remained bitter about losing, and that too was a major factor in Hitler’s rise to power. The Arab nations who fought against the Turks were cheated out of their gains – a spectre still with us today – and Hungary lost two thirds of its territory simply because it was part of the losing Hapsburg dynasty’s empire.

The Second World War began on September 3rd 1939. Billed as a fight to eleminate fascism, it did this by taking the most cruel fascist regime in history, the USSR, to its bosom after 1941. In fact, the war was fought against Germany and Japan to protect three Empires: the British, American, and Russian. Thirty years on, weapons had become more efficient, and the idea of bombing folks was considerably more in vogue….as indeed it still is today. So this time, 48 million people died. For nothing. You can be certain it was for nothing, for the following reasons:

1. The two main winners claimed it as a victory for liberty and democracy. 70 years on, both countries are bankrupt, and heading pell-mell towards corporacratic dictatorship. Viciously brutal religious fascists are murdering infidels on an industrial scale. The Special Relationships solution to this is….to bomb folks. In Vietnam, the solution was…to bomb Cambodia. In Iraq, the solution was to bomb Baghdad. Some bombing of Syria is already taking place.

2. The third winning combatant no longer exists, having collapsed under the weight of its own repression. It has been replaced by a vaguely official mafia of moguls, and the condition of the average Russian citizen is as bad as ever.

3. The alleged main loser was divided into two countries, and given billions in Marshall Aid. 70 years on, it is the dominating member of a European Union who size and illberal tendencies would’ve pleased Adolf Hitler no end. In 2014, a United Germany has meted out the precise same brainless austerity it last donated to Greece in 1944.

4. The Grossdeutschland created by Hitler went for Lebensraum in the East. After the fall of the USSR, the EU did precisely the same thing, and it has had exactly the same effect on Russia’s dictator as it had on Stalin: an uneasiness and new invasions to deter the spread of Brussels am Berlin. In turn, just as Hitler found the Eastern States truculent and passionately nationalist, so to are the newer EU members refusing to do the Superstate’s bidding.

5. Today, the vast majority of “thinking progressives” vilify Israel. Anti-semitism in central, east and south eastern Europe is as nastily casual as it ever was. Israel hasn’t covered itself in glory, but 75 years after the Iranian Ba’ath Party held secret meetings with SS representatives – following which a letter bulging with fulsome praise for annihilation plans for the Jews was dispatched to the Reichschancellery – Iraelis still find themselves surrounded by hostile Arabs as bitter as ever about the way they were cheated in 1919, 1926, and 1947.

Nearly 60 million dead. For nothing. History has carried on into a future which George Orwell foresaw as early as 1948.

After the War in Britain, Labour swept to power on a mood of radical change and forward to a better, classless future for all. Today, the same snotnosed, superior and patronising socio-educational elite that drove pre-Empire loyalist Toryism is in control…and more powerful than ever, comprising as it does the great majority of both Coalition and Shadow Cabinets.

“Remember the glorious dead” say these same idiots – many of whose grandparents profiteered in both Wars. There is no glory in any death that achieves nothing.

On Remembrance Sunday, this is what we should remember:

War solves nothing and changes precious little. And ideologies reverse progress.

ANTARES FLYING PENIS BLOWS THE CONDOM!

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 29, 2014

The “Money Shot” comes at 0:31 into the Video

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A few days ago we had the crash of a Private Jet in Moscow carrying the CEO of Total, ostensibly caused by a Drunken Snowplow Driver.  While I am certain most Ruskie Snowplow Driver are drunk, generally speaking they are able to stay out of the way of Airplanes on Takeoff.  LOL.

Today’s Aviation Disaster was the Explosion on Launch of an Antares Rocket, ostensibly destined for dropping off supplies at the hunk of junk still circling the Earth called the “International Space Station“.  No, it doesn’t look quite like Kubrick’s 2001 Station.

http://filmgrab.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/11-space-station1.png

It looks more like this:

http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wsdl/files/201410/internaitional_space_station,_nasa,gov_0.jpg

 

Basically, the best we have been able to accomplish here since Kubrick filmed 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968 is about the size of a couple of Class I RV Bugout Machines.

http://hgtv.sndimg.com/HGTV/2010/02/26/Goss-RV_outdoor-indoor-awning_s4x3_lg.jpg

Without the Porch of course.  LOL.  The rest of the contraption is scaffolding and about enough PV panels to run the typical McMansion off grid.

We also no longer have Shuttle Service to said Orbiting Bugout Machine, since after running them for 20 years and failing to find a better means of jacking stuff up and down to low earth orbit that was even remotely feasible or affordable, both the FSoA and the Ruskies have retreated to Rockets not a whole lot different than the ones Werner Von Braun sent as Greeting Cards to the Brits in WWII.

http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140601022006/worldwartwo/images/7/74/V-2_rocket_launching.jpg  http://d1jqu7g1y74ds1.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Antares_Wallops_Virginia_high.jpg

It’s slightly larger, but it’s still just a Flying Penis.  Technologically speaking, it is no different from the Estes Rockets I launched as a kid at summer camp, just a bit larger.  No Ion Drive, Warp Drive or Mag Lev here, just burn a lot of fossil fuel really fast and hopefully keep it from exploding on ignition.  Regardless of this, Technophiles assure me that in 100 years we will be awash in carbon fiber nanotubes that will take us to a Galaxy Far Far AwayHUMAN INGENUITY!  Look at how fast our Iphones can pass Selfies across the Internet!  LOL.

Nevertheless, regardless of the fact that this is 70 year old technology we have had plenty of time to perfect, somehow the fucking things STILL manage to occasionally EXPLODE on launch. Back in July 2013 the Ruskies had one of their Flying Penises Blow the Condom on Takeoff.  There was another one on May 15th of this year as well.

Of course, this is just because of shoddy Ruskie Rocket Manufacture, right?  This might be plausible was it not for the rather odd coinkidink that such explosions of this hardware seem to occur whenever there is geopolitical tension between the Ruskies and the FSoA.  Rest of the time they seem to fly flawlessly.  You all remember the Challenger crash I trust?

http://voices.suntimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/CHALLENGEREXPLOSION.jpg

 

Christa McAuliffe and the rest of the Challenger Crew went to the Great Beyond on January 28, 1986.   When was the Soviet Union Collapsing?

The history of the Soviet Union from 1982 through 1991, spans the period from Leonid Brezhnev‘s death and funeral until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Due to the years of Soviet military buildup at the expense of domestic development, economic growth stagnated[citation needed]. Failed attempts at reform, a standstill economy, and the success of the United States against the Soviet Union’s forces in the war in Afghanistan led to a general feeling of discontent, especially in the Baltic republics and Eastern Europe.[1]

Greater political and social freedoms, instituted by the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, created an atmosphere of open criticism of the communist regime. The dramatic drop of the price of oil in 1985 and 1986 profoundly influenced actions of the Soviet leadership.[2]

I am sure this is just a Coinkidink though. http://img.webmd.com/community/images/eyeroll.gif

As the video at the top of the article here indicates, speculation is rife on the Conspiracy Websites that the Antares was taken out by a Ruskie EMP, or by Ruskie Hackers.  There are indications also that the Antares was not just carrying Toilet Paper up to the Space Station for the Astronauts to wipe their butts with.  Apparently there was some Highly Classified Crypto Equipment on board as well.  This is not from Conspiracy Websites, it is from NBC Newz:

A NASA launch commentator said the Cygnus’ cargo included some “classified crypto equipment” that the ground crews were told to prioritize. The equipment was likely to have been used for secure space-to-ground communications. The capsule held 32 Cubesat nanosatellites that were to have been deployed from the space station.

Locals have also been “warned” not to touch any of the debris they might find from the explosion:

Culbertson urged those near the launch site to be careful if they find debris: “This is an accident site, and this was a rocket. If you find anything in the shore area or that came down on your farm or in your yard, alert the local authorities, definitely do not touch it and keep people away from it.”

DON’T TOUCH IT! WTF is it? Flying Ebola maybe?

You can’t make this shit up.  I’ll have an Audio Rant on it up in a couple of days, but I keyboard faster than I can edit an Audio File, so I got this one out tonight the Old Fashioned Way. Writing.  Unfortunately, few people still READ these days.  LOL.

RE

Don’t Miss the TECHNOPHILIA RANT!

“God , I hate the Germans!”, said Ike

Off the keyboard of Stucky

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Published on The Burning Platform on June 24, 2014

Eisenhower-DeathCamps

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In another thread “Into Darwin’s Dark Night” discussion emerged regarding the number of Germans killed in the aftermath of WWII. The main points;

—– 1) War is hell, and the Germans probably had it coming to them.

—– 2) The Germans were responsible for more deaths of civilians, by far, than the Russians and, the Germans were more brutal. Again, war is hell, so stop complaining.

—– 3) The number of dead Germans can never be known. Even so, we KNOW that it wasn’t in the millions. It was probably “only” about 500,000.

—– 4) America treated prisoners quite fairly, and rarely killed them, directly or indirectly.

GERMANS HAD IT COMING TO THEM

My mother was born in Yugoslavia. The town’s population was about 25% German. She was a young teenager when the Russians came. They promptly executed almost all the German-speaking men in town, including her father. She and her mother went to a prison camp, where both were repeatedly raped. I suppose a Russian-rape isn’t as brutal as a German-rape, so she should be thankful for that. She witnessed Russian soldiers beat her mother to death right in front of her eyes. I’m pretty sure this thin 5’1” teenager never committed any crime against Jews (she didn’t know any), or any other ethnic group. Yeah, she deserved it, though.

My dad was born in Romania and also lived in a German community that largely vanished into thin air after the war. One day the German army swopped in and forcibly made him a soldier. He was captured by the Russians. He was one of the lucky ones as he survived prison camp. He was never allowed to return home. Never saw his family again – what was left of them. Instead, he was turned over to the British. The Brits sent him to England … basically as a slave laborer (I’ll bet you didn’t know the Brits did that) in a coal mine (near the Scottish border, I believe). He wasn’t even given a rudimentary mask to keep from breathing in all the coal dust. He developed an illness, and the Brits had enough of him in that they didn’t want to waste resources helping him get well. So, they generously gave him barely enough money to get the hell out of their country to Bremerhaven. Germany didn’t have room for him. So he stayed there a few months doing menial work, until he had enough pfennigs to make his way to Austria. But, he was a Nazi soldier (not! very few German soldiers were Nazi’s), so I suppose he also deserved it.

500,000 or 9,000,000?

In 1944, Yugoslavia’s new leader, commie bastard Marshal Josip Broz Tito, issued as one of his very first decrees that Germans were “enemies of the people”. Billions of dollars (in today’s money) were confiscated. Conservative estimates are that 120,000 Germans died just in post-war Yugoslavia.

http://www.ihr.org/other/sunic062002.html

———-

In 1992, the author of this book  flew to Moscow to visit the newly-opened KGB archives, where he found documented new proof that almost 1,000,000  Germans died …… just in Western prison camps”

———-

This critically acclaimed book chronicles how that wonderful humanitarian, FDR, impressed 4,000,000 Germans into forced labor …. which so disgusted Gen. Patton that he said …..   “It is amusing to recall that we fought the revolution in defense of the rights of man and the civil war to abolish slavery and have now gone back on both principles”. The author estimates 2.5 million ordinary Germans were killed in the post-Reich era.

———

 

According to the intro —- “The first English-speaking writer to gain access to the newly opened KGB archives in Moscow and to recently declassified information from the renowned Hoover Institution in California,“.  The author claims, “9 million Germans died as a result of deliberate Allied starvation and expulsion policies after World War II—one quarter of the country was annexed, and about 15 million people expelled in the largest act of ethnic cleansing the world has ever known.“.

The point of this section is that 500,000 is woefully underestimated and that 9 million is surely a gross exaggeration. The two million figure is the most reasonable and, in fact, the number used in most articles, studies, books, etc.

AMERICAN RIGHTEOUSNESS

As the war in Europe drew to a close, Germans surrendered by the hundreds of thousands.   According to British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, 500,000 Germans surrendered to his 21st Army Group in Northern Germany.  On May 8th, 1945 — shortly after V-E Day — the British-Canadian catch totaled more that 2 million.  A Captain in the British Army described it as such,  …..  “Hungry and frightened, lying in grain fields within fifty feet of us, awaiting the appropriate time to jump up with their hands in the air” Most were quickly released and sent home, or else transferred to the French to help in the post-war work of reconstruction.

The Americans also faced astounding numbers of surrendering German troops: the final tally of prisoners taken by the U.S. army in Europe over 5 million.  But the Americans responded very differently.

Corporal Helmut Liebich’s Story.

Among the early U.S captives was one Corporal Helmut Liebich, who had been working in an anti-aircraft experimental group at Peenemunde on the Baltic.  Liebich was captured by the Americans on April 17, near Gotha in Central Germany. 

Forty-two years later, he recalled vividly that there were no tents in the Gotha camp, just barbed wire fences around a field soon churned to mud.  The prisoners received a small ration of food on the first day but it was then cut in half.  In order to get it, they were forced to run a gauntlet.  Hunched over, they ran between lines of American guards who hit them with sticks as they scurried towards their food. 

On April 27, they were transferred to the U.S. camp at Heidesheim farther wet, where there was no food at all for days, then very little.  Exposed, starved, and thirsty, the men started to die.  Liebich saw between ten and thirty bodies a day being dragged out of his section, B, which at first held around 5,200 men.. He saw one prisoner beat another to death to get his piece of bread.  One night when it rained, Liebich saw the sides of the holes in which they were sheltered, dug in soft sandy earth, collapse on men who were too weak to struggle out.  They smothered before anyone could get to them.  Liebich sat down and wept.  “I could hardly believe men could be so cruel to each other.”

Typhus broke out in Heidesheim about the beginning of May.  Five days after V-E Day, on May 13, Liebich was transferred to another U.S. POW camp, at Bingen-Rudesheim in the Rhineland near Bad Kreuznach, where he was told that the prisoners numbered somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000, all without shelter, food, water, medicine, or sufficient space.

Soon he fell sick with dysentery and typhus.  he was moved again, semiconscious and delirious, in an open-topped railway car with about sixty other prisoners: northwest down the Rhine, with a detour through Holland, where the Dutch stood on bridges to smash stones down on the heads of the prisoners.  Sometimes the American guards fired warning shots near the Dutch to keep them off.  After three nights, his fellow prisoners helped him stagger into the hug camp at Rheinberg, near the border with the Netherlands, again without shelter or food.

When a little food finally did arrive, it was rotten.  In none of the four camps had Leibich seen any shelter for the prisoners.  the death rate in the U.S. Rhineland camps at this point, according to surrviving data from a medical survey, was about thirty per cent per year.  A normal death rate for a civilian population in 1945 was between one and two percent.

One day in June, through hallucinations of his fever, Liebich saw “the Tommies” coming into the camp.  The British had taken over Rheinberg, and that probably saved his life.  At this point, Liebich, who is five-foot-ten, weighed 96.8 ponds.

According to stories told to this day by other ex-prisoners of Rheinberg, the last act of the Americans before the British took over was to bulldoze one section level while there were still men living in their holes in the ground.

http://www.whale.to/b/bacque1.html

HOW ABOUT SOME PICTURES?

Humane American camp, at Sinzig-Remagen, spring, 1945. Printed in a German newspaper.

998,000 prisoners killed in Allied Camps. OOPS!!  I guess American Censorship failed to block this St. Petersburg article.

 

WWII — A GOOD WAR WITH VERY BAD RESULTS

Off the keyboard of Stuck in New Jersey

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Published on The Burning Platform on June 10, 2014

WWII_propaganda

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http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2010-12-20-wwiipropagandacrazy.jpg“War forces ‘national planning’. To permit total mobilization of your country’s economy, you gladly surrender many freedoms. You know regimentation was forced by your country’s enemies.”
———— “The Road To Serfdom”, Step 1

“Criticism of the decisions made during war only come from people who have never fought in a war but you sure have enjoyed the results of all those men dying. Right?”
———— Village Idiot (bb) to me, referring to D-Day and WWII

Well, let’s take a look at The Good War, and the “results” I have “enjoyed”.

BEFORE THE WAR —- FDR’S NEW DEAL

Herbert Hoover couldn’t adequately deal with the Great Depression. So, disgusted Americans elected FDR in 1932. FDR’s campaign promises in 1932 were to; cut federal spending, balance the budget, maintain a sound currency, and stop bureaucratic centralization in Washington. That didn’t work out to well. Instead he gave Americans a bewildering, incoherent mass of new expenditures, taxes, subsidies, regulations, and direct government participation in every aspect of economic activity. For starters, how about 47 new Federal Programs and Agencies implemented between 1933 – 1939? Listed in order of implementation;

Emergency Banking Act , Government Economy Act, Beer-Wine Revenue Act, Civilian Conservation Corps, Abandonment of Gold Standard, Federal Emergency Relief Act, Agricultural Adjustment Act, Emergency Farm Mortgage Act, Tennessee Valley Authority Act,, Securities Act, Abrogation of Gold Payment Clause, Home Owners Refinancing Act, Establish the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC), Glass-Steagall Banking Act, creation of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Industrial Recovery Act, create the Public Works Administration (PWA), Emergency Railroad Transportation Act , Civil Works Administration , Gold Reserve Act, National Housing Act, create the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Securities Exchange Act, Federal Communications Act , Soil Conservation & Domestic Allotment Act, Emergency Relief Appropriation, Works Progress Administration , Rural Electrification Act , National Labor Relations Act /Wagner Act, Resettlement Act, Social Security Act (SSA), creation of Social Security Trust Fund, United States Housing Act, Bonneville Power Administration, Farm Tenancy Act, Farm Security Administration, Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), New Agricultural Adjustment Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Federal Security Agency

[Side Note: It has been said that FDR was much loved, and that’s why he was elected four times. That’s not true. The 1936 election is touted as one of the biggest landslides in history. Nevertheless, some guy named “Alf” was able to garner 17 Million votes. Look again at the above 47 acts … WHO benefits? Old folks, young folks, blacks, poor folks [supposedly], Unions, farmers, and anyone wanting or owning a home, amongst others. In other words, enormous swaths of the country needing free shit. Even blacks, loyal to the Republican Party ever since the Civil War, abandoned the GOP in exchange for the pitiful relief payments and crap jobs in the federal work-relief programs. It’s called Buying Votes. John T. Flynn, in his book, ‘The Roosevelt Myth’, said ——– “it was always easy to interest him in a plan which would confer some special benefit upon some special class in the population in exchange for their votes,” and that eventually “no political boss could compete with him in any county in America in the distribution of money and jobs.”]

In a 1936 book called ‘The Menace of Roosevelt and His Policies’, Howard E. Kershner wrote that Roosevelt; ——– “took charge of our government when it was comparatively simple, and for the most part confined to the essential functions of government, and transformed it into a highly complex, bungling agency for throttling business and bedeviling the private lives of free people. It is no exaggeration to say that he took the government when it was a small racket and made a large racket out of it.”

Under heavy criticism for all this crapola even FDR himself eventually said that he was — “not willing that the vitality of our people be further sapped by the giving of doles, of market baskets, by a few hours of weekly work cutting grass, raking leaves, or picking up papers in the public parks.” But, just like his broken campaign promises, the Free Shit Handouts did continue throughout his Presidency.

FDR’s true colors should have been apparent to everyone after his first inaugural speech when he said ——- “we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline.”. Then he made a comment Obama would have been proud of by warning Congress that if they didn’t do his bidding he would seek —— “broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency as great as the power that would be given me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.” FDR, the new King, swinging his E.O. pen from the Bully Pulpit … it won’t be the last time a president ignores the will of the people.

http://4206e9.medialib.glogster.com/media/c3a77eb567ef1f05e000860822724d1c59c3d671f78610d8a59cbf49db0c4805/wwii-propaganda.jpgFDR often clung to the analogy that just as war was a national emergency, so was the current economic climate. Just as in war the government controls and mobilizes the economy, so should the government do likewise in this economic national emergency. Aside from the fact that whenever the government declares a war on any aspect of social / economic life (i.e.; war on drugs, war on poverty, war on racism, war on obesity, etc.) that the war always ends it dismal failure, is the fact that successfully prosecuting a war has virtually nothing in common with the necessary requisites of getting an economy out of a depression. But FDR was determined to change every aspect of the American landscape, a war where the protagonist was the American Government, and the victims the American People who voted the scoundrels into office. As expected, his war on the economic national emergency would fail. Eventually, only a real war would save his ass …. and preserve Big Daddy government he perfected.

Prior to the Good War, exactly how did things work out? In 1939, ten years after its onset and six years after the commencement of the New Deal, 9.5 million persons, or 17.2% of the labor force, still remained officially unemployed …with 3 million of those “employed” being enrolled in emergency government make-work shovel-ready projects. As late as June 1939, industrial production remained significantly below 1929 levels (81 vs. 100).

Furthermore, mounting evidence makes it clear that poor people were principal victims of the New Deal. New Deal programs were financed by tripling federal taxes from $1.6 billion in 1933 to $5.3 billion in 1940. Excise taxes, personal income taxes, inheritance taxes, corporate income taxes, holding company taxes and so-called “excess profits” taxes all went up. New Deal taxes were major job destroyers during the 1930s. Higher business taxes meant that employers had less money for growth and jobs. Social Security excise taxes on payrolls made it more expensive for employers to hire people, which discouraged hiring. The National Industrial Recovery Act cut back production and forced wages above market levels, making it more expensive for employers to hire people – blacks alone were estimated to have lost some 500,000 jobs because of the NIRA. The NIRA forced consumers to pay above-market prices for goods and services, and the Agricultural Adjustment Act forced Americans to pay more for food. Amazingly, FDR banned discounting by signing the Anti-Chain Store Act and the Retail Price Maintenance Act.

The most important source of New Deal revenue were excise taxes levied on alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, matches, candy, chewing gum, margarine, fruit juice, soft drinks, cars, tires, telephone calls, movie tickets, playing cards, electricity, radios – in other words, the New Deal was substantially financed by the middle class and poor people. Consumers had less money to spend, and employers had less money for growth and jobs. It wasn’t until 1942, in the midst of World War II, that income taxes exceeded excise taxes for the first time under FDR.

By 1939 the whole damn house of cards was about to tumble. Unemployment climbed back over 20%. This, despite cartelizing industry, subsidizing farmers, creating massive make-work projects, promoting organized labor, and launching the modern welfare state (social security, minimum wage laws, AFDC) …. all funded by a combination of increased debt, excise taxes, and high progressive income taxation. Even FDR’s secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, confessed to the House Ways and Means Committee on May 9, 1939;

“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before AND IT DOES NOT WORK … We have never made good on our promises … I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. …. And an enormous debt to boot!”

Where the New Deal succeeded beyond FDR’s wildest imagination was in changing the country’s dominant ideology. Just look at the 47 new acts and agencies. Each interferes with the effective operation of the free market. Each renders the economy less productive with its subsidizing, financing, insuring, regulating, fines and punishments. The New Deal set a precedent that virtually any government program could gain sufficient political support in Congress. Limited constitutional government no longer applied …. especially after the Supreme Court revolution that began in 1937. After the New Deal virtually everyone would look to the federal government for solutions to problems great and small, real and imagined, even personal as well as social. After the New Deal any new proposed federal program might be opposed because of its structure, personnel, or cost … but virtually no one objected on principle, that this new program by its very nature was inappropriate to the role of government. Government now is The-Solution-To-Everything. FDR’s lasting legacy is a bloated, very stupid, extremely intrusive government trampling on citizens liberty. But, even so, it almost died on the vine.

Prior to entering the Good War, FDR’s economic war plans to remake America into a socialist utopia was failing miserably, as shown above. What he needed was a real damn war. Not to save Europe or help America! But to preserve his new found powers and to keep the Federal Bloated Pig fed into perpetuity.

http://www.legionpost57.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/wwii-propaganda-posters-500-19.jpg

WINNING THE GOOD WAR AND ENJOYING ITS RESULTS

EUROPE

Let’s start with Poland. Why? Because Britain and France declared war against Germany when German military forces attacked Poland …. and Britain and France would liberate Poland, they said. How sincere was that pledge? Not, very. Soviet forces attacked Poland from the East two weeks later, ultimately taking even more Polish territory than did Germany, and the leaders of Britain and France kept silent. Was Poland free after WWII ended? Of course, not. They had to endure decades of brutal (at times) Soviet domination. So, the Good War wasn’t so good for Poland.

What about all of Eastern Europe? Also dominated and ruled by the Soviets. No freedom for them as a result of the Good War.

What about England? They won!! Churchill, in his ‘Finest Hour’ address, said: —— “Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire.” A few weeks earlier in his ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ speech, he said that unless Germany was defeated, there would be; ——– “no survival for the British empire, no survival for all that the British empire has stood for…”. How did wining the Good War turn out for the Brits? Even Churchill lamented the war’s outcome three years after the end of fighting; —— “The human tragedy of the war reaches its climax in the fact that after all the exertions and sacrifices of hundreds of millions of people and of the victories of the Righteous Cause, we have still not found Peace or Security, and that we lie in the grip of even worse perils than those we have surmounted.” The once mighty British empire … the one in which the sun never set … that empire has vanished into history. The Brits can now watch the sun set on their empire every day, and they don’t even need to leave their island.

British historian Basil Liddell Hart wrote: ———- “All the effort that was put into the destruction of Hitlerite Germany resulted in a Europe so devastated and weakened in the process that its power of resistance was much reduced in the face of a fresh and greater menace – and Britain, in common with her European neighbours, had become a poor dependent of the United States. These are the hard facts underlying the victory that was so hopefully pursued and so painfully achieved ….. It confirmed the warning of past experience that this victory is a ‘mirage in the desert’ – the desert that a long war creates, when waged with modern weapons and unlimited methods.”

What about the rest of Western Europe? Well, several of them are saddled with a permanent Occupying Force — at least that’s what it’s called when Russia did likewise. None of them can adequately protect themselves. All of them are sock-puppets to Uncle Schmuel. This is not freedom. Europe for the first time in its history was no longer master of its own destiny. In 1941 FDR and Churchill issued the “Atlantic Charter”, a formal declaration of Allied war aims, that the USA and Britain would seek; —- “no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned”. They lied! They re-drew so many borders with impunity dividing up countries like an Etch-A-Sketch Gone Wild. Their horrible decisions took decades to come to its bloodletting fruition, such as in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s and still in the Middle East to this day. Wow, that’s some kind of ‘victory’.

But, the USA (the government) and Soviet Russia came out smelling like a rose. FDR, Stalin, and Churchill met in Yalta and accomplished EXACTLY what they accused the Krauts, Nips, and Dagos of conspiring to achieve ……. world domination. One must be willfully blind to not see the hypocrisy. WWII was not a war for freedom. Rather, it was a war for who would become the winner of the global game of Risk, and the players at Yalta, each in his own duplicitous way, tried to assure that only one power would be left standing.

Russia did exceptionally well, although it took seven decades to realize the full potential. Russia today has virtually no debt, and with their thousands of nukes is the only nation in the world that can legitimately stand up to American military might, and has enormous natural resource wealth with oil, minerals, and arable land, and along with China and other nations is working hard to put an end to the petro-dollar …. which would certainly put the final nail in the coffin of the American Empire. I wonder how the Village Idiot will enjoy those results.

AMERICA

There is no doubt that the end of WWII launched an era of astounding prosperity. Perhaps that’s what out Village Idiot means by me enjoying “the results of men dying”. But, that would be quite a statement coming from the Village Idiot, who is also an unabashed Fundy Bible Thumper. It’s almost as if he never read the warnings from Scripture against loving things, acquiring unnecessary wealth, and the evils of loving money. The only question that matters is whether or not obtaining this prosperity was worth the cost. I don’t think it was. Decide for yourself.

ISOLATIONISM DIES ……… GIVING BIRTH TO GLOBALISM

Yes, there are exceptions (taking the land from Native Americans, taking/buying lands from the French, taking/fighting the Mexicans for huge portions of land), but for the most part, American history is one whereby its citizens and politicians preferred isolationism. For a hundred years after George Washington’s farewell address warning against “foreign entanglements”, America basically minded its own damn business. Then along came that rat-bastard, Woody Wilson (may he rot in hell), who was elected largely on his promise to keep America out of the European War. But about a month after his inauguration this war-mongering Ivy League elitist gives his “War message to Congress”, not because our security is at stake, but because America suddenly acquired this duty to spread liberty across the world; —– “The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty.”

Anyway, war was declared, the people went along with the charade, millions died, and ………… peace in Europe was never achieved. As a result, by the 1930’s, disillusioned Americans became more convinced than ever that foreign adventure was a disastrous policy. American isolationism was renewed with a vengeance. The majority of Americans were very firmly opposed to entering WWII. Most people know that FDR’s goading Japan to attack Pearl Harbor changed all that. But there was another guy who helped kill isolationism, Henry Luce.

Luce was the founder and editor of the Time and Life empire. Those two magazine were THE source of news for Americans. Luce penned an editorial in 1941, “The American Century.”. Luce should be the patron saint of Fox news and neocon warmongers. Luce said the US was already the strongest nation in the world for several decades, and that NOW was the time to accept the responsibilities of that power, writing that the US should “exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit.”. He said the US must be a force for good. How? By spreading our culture, feeding and clothing the world, and spreading the ideals of democracy, freedom, and justice around the globe. His editorial was received with great enthusiasm. It effectively marked the death of American isolationism.

A FANATICAL REVIVAL OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM

America was birthed with a belief in its exceptionalism going as far back as the 1600’s whereby the Puritans believed themselves to be on a “special mission from God”. The end of WWII fueled our exceptionalistic beliefs, like throwing gasoline on a fire. Ours was the only significant economy left standing, and one without global competition. Our military was invincible. Always a religious people, it seemed even atheists acknowledged that America was specially blessed by God. We could do whatever we wanted, when we wanted, for as long as we wanted, and cost was never an issue. We believed one of the craziest notions of all time ….. that each successive generation would surpass the affluence of the one before.

The process of breaking these illusions and returning to reality STLL HAS NOT TAKEN PLACE!! To listen to Obama’s West Point speech a couple weeks ago was like taking a Time Capsule trip back to May 8th, 1945. Obama actually believes in his heart we are still an exceptional nation, who can do what it wants, when it wants, including bombing other nations unilaterally as we see fit, and cost is never an issue.

Historian Murray Rothbard summed it up most succinctly when he wrote: —– “World War II is the last war myth left, the myth that the Old Left clings to in pure desperation: the myth that here, at least, was a good war, here was a war in which America was in the right. World War II is the war thrown into our faces by the war-making establishment, as it tries, in each war that we face, to wrap itself in the mantle of good and righteous World War II.”

It is our belief in an exceptional military that is so dangerous … to us and the rest of the world … for exceptionalism inevitably leads to over-confidence. Since 1945, American presidents have repeatedly sought to justify US military actions in foreign countries Exceptionalism/over-confidence led that that jackass Lydon Johnson to believe the Vietnam war would be over in a few weeks. It led Bush to compare fighting Iraq – another “good war” — with our mission against Hitler, and his moronic son to prematurely ejaculate “mission accomplished”. Fast forward to the current Moron-In-Chief and you get a numbskull who calls Afghanistan a “necessary war”, and who is desperately seeking to re-ignite a Cold War with Russia — because we are exceptional, and they are not — or, possibly even WWIII, the next Good War that will certainly this time be the war to end all wars.

THE CURSE OF AFFLUENCE

Hey, I watch the Honeymooners. In one episode Alice complains to Ralph about their lack of modern conveniences saying that their last month’s electric bill was eighty-nine cents!! Ha! I don’t want to live like that! I’m delighted I have a fridge, a gas oven, a vacuum cleaner, and other niceties of life. But, as stated earlier, what was the real cost in completely transforming society?

The most obvious is that everything became larger; media, education, entertainment, corporations, you name it but, especially government. Individual craftsmanship gave way to mass production. Mom and pop gave way to franchises. Quaint towns and villages each unique to its geographical location gave way to suburbia … a mind numbing sameness that is only marginally better than those old Soviet-era grey concrete apartments.

The growth of suburbia created a “consumption multiplier”; more homes meant more appliances had to be produced, and furniture to furnish them, and malls to supply the homeowner with all their needs, more roads needed to be built, and more automobiles to transport the consuming masses, and children largely abandoned by their parents needed more toys, phones, computers, and gadgets to keep them occupied.

A mass-produced society really doesn’t need a lot of people who work for themselves. So, now, instead of people like our own Hardscrabble Farmer, we have hordes of worker drones working for someone else in corporations, government offices, and universities; mostly white collar workers in their cubicle fiefdoms, and millions upon millions in the soul-destroying “service industry”. Schools are incapable of coming to the rescue as their only interest is producing little robots that conform to the status quo, individualism be damned.

Even the Most Holy of Holies has been replaced by The Holy God Of Stuff. Go to any Christian bookstore and you’ll find row after row of books on how to ‘name it and claim it’… in the name of Jesus, of course. The theology section might consist of two rows of shelves. From Joel Olsteen (the psychologist to neurotic Christians) to Trinity Broadcasting Network (for Christians so materialistic it makes the Devil blush) the case can be made that Friedrich Nietzsche was correct; “God IS dead”, at least in most American churches.

So, tell me, how wonderful has all this material abundance really been? Not that it really matters … because the Age of Abundance will soon pass. This generation is already worse off than mine was, and the next one will be still even worse. The Honeymooners kitchen in the not too distant future will look like the lap of luxury.

AN OUT OF CONTROL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT and PRESIDENCY

The math is simple. During the war years, federal civilian employees increased from one million to nearly four million. Washington’s spending grew from $9 billion to $99 billion dollars. And like a cancer, neither has stopped growing since. Time after time FDR assumed more and more authority, almost acting like a King. Important decisions concerning both domestic and foreign policy were not made by Congress, but by the President and his advisers. Not every president after FDR was as bad. But, no one complained, no one was outraged, no one questioned FDR’s abuse of the Constitution, and so, the precedent was once again established (after a hiatus from the Lincoln years). Obama has read FDR’s playbook, and perfected it.

THE BIRTH OF THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

The partnership of Big Science, Big Government, and Big Business established in1940 had created a firm foundation for future projects. Scientists were commissioned to perfect new weapons like the atom bomb, better radar, jet engines, penicillin, etc. Prostitution increased dramatically as FDR offered big business executives key positions. Corporate profits doubled. There was a demand in markets that previously did not exist. It was the beginning of the end of the family farm as larger commercial farms absorbed them. This was all pretty nifty at the time as it helped win the war. BUT, the beast didn’t stop growing after the war, it just grew and grew and grew … a cancerous blob of protoplasmic slop that will, in time, consume itself.

Eisenhower talked about the dangers of the MIC in his farewell speech. During the war an organized relationship arose between big business and the military’s spending on defense as hundreds of millions of dollars were spent which, in turn, inflated American industrial capacity. Small companies disappeared as two-thirds of government contracts went to the 100 largest corporations. Today the MIC spends more on American defense than the next 9 largest spenders combined … and that includes Russia and China …not to mention we are the world’s number one arms exporter by a huge margin.

Military spending is less effective at creating jobs than virtually any other form of government activity. In fact, it might not actually “create” any jobs at all. Military spending doesn’t make our country richer, otherwise, why wouldn’t we just build 10 millions tanks so we could all become millionaires? If you like Paul Krugman and his Weaponized Keynesianism band, you won’t believe this, but every dollar spent on military spending is a dollar not spent making something that will help all Americans economically. It’s pissing money down the toilet.

THE CURSE OF ADVERTISING AND CREDIT

I loathe advertising at about the same level I do bankers and politicians. How can I respect an industry whereby every product output is basically a lie (of either omission or commission), a half-truth, or an exaggeration, and whose goal is always for their clients (us) to commit one of the 7 Deadly Sins, that of Greed? The post-war explosion in the production of consumer goods created an explosion in the advertising industry …. because people just don’t buy all that crap on their own, they need to be suckered into it. But, even with mom now in the workforce, there often wasn’t enough money to buy stuff, as there was so much of it. This new materialism led to the creation of an economy run on credit …. a concept basically unknown before the war, when most families borrowed money only to buy a house, or perhaps a car. The credit card changed America, and not in a good way for its many debt slaves.

BLACKS (or African-Americans, Neegrows, colored folk, …. or whatever)

In 1941, 10 of 13 million Blacks still lived in the rural South. One million blacks migrated to the North during the war. Two million were employed in the defense industry. As early as 1943 a riot broke out in a federally-sponsored housing project in Detroit, leaving 35 blacks and 9 whites dead. A little over two decades later Newark, Watts, and other areas were left burning. Civil disobedience – “sit-ins” first, violence later – occurred almost immediately after the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was founded in 1942.

MEXICANS

The need for farm workers rose dramatically after Pearl Harbor. To meet the demand, the United States established the Bracero (work hands) Program in 1942, and by 1945, several hundred thousand Mexican workers had immigrated to the Southwest. Commercial farmers welcomed them; labor unions, however, resented the competition, leading to animosity and discrimination against Mexicans. The war opened the immigration floodgates, both legal and illegal.

WOMEN

The war had a dramatic impact on women. The most visible change was the sudden appearance of large numbers of women in uniform, such as 250,000 women joining the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), as well as the other service branches. And over 6 million women entered the work force, and for the first time in history, married working women outnumbered single working women. “Rosie the Riveter” became the popular symbol of women who abandoned traditional female occupations.

I’m not a misogynist. I have no qualms with women having the same opportunities as men. But this ‘social engineering’ came at a cost to family life and therefore to society, and to deny it is foolishness. Moms either stayed on the job, or went to work outside of the home in large numbers, not because they needed to, but because they could. There became suddenly so many things to buy! Consumerism may not have been born during the immediate post-war era, but it was surely Super-Sized. And one of the reasons Boomers became the most fucked up generation ever (according to many here on TBP) may have been because we were raised by others not called mom-and-dad. We did enjoy them buying us stuff to assuage their guilt. We watched. We took notes. And, when we grew up, many of us bought BMWs and McMansions.

ENEMY ALIENS IN OUR MIDST!!!

At first, Japanese-American-owned banks and businesses were closed, as well as Japanese language schools. FDR ordered members of suspected “enemy alien” groups to turn in their cameras, radios, and weapons. The U.S. Attorney General established curfews in military zones and forbade “enemy aliens” to travel outside of a five mile radius from their homes. Then, eventually, 112,000 of America’s 127,000 Japanese living on the mainland were sent to Internment Camps (lesser known is that about 15,000 people of German and Italian ancestry were also subject to Amerika’s wartime confinement program.)

The above events are rarely discussed and easily dismissed as a necessary act during a time of war. In other words, no big deal, move along. However, it is one of Amerika’s darkest moments. I will keep my argument simple; —- THEY WERE AMERICANS!!! Many were born HERE, some families going generations deep. Even those not born here, they immigrated here because they wanted to be Americans, and they were loyal to this country. I was born in Austria, but after living here 55 of my 60 years, if you try to tell me I’m not an American, trust me, I’m likely to punch you in the brain.

Once again, this heinous act set (or, re-established) a precedent … that it’s perfectly OK to send AMERICANS to prison —err, interment — camps for some stupid trumped-up fear-mongering reason. And if you disagree with that, my friend, you will really enjoy the FEMA Camps, coming to a theater near you, soon.  How will you feel when they come for YOU, because you own a gun, or belong to the Tea Party, or because you are a wacko ‘Constitutionalist”, or belong to the 99 other groups this Federal Government is so afraid of that there’s an FBI Watch List monitoring them all? Will you still say, “It’s no big deal?”

HOW “GOOD” WAS THE GOOD WAR REALLY?

“What kind of war do civilians suppose we fought, anyway? We shot prisoners in cold blood, wiped out hospitals, strafed lifeboats, killed or mistreated enemy civilians, finished off the enemy wounded, tossed the dying into a hole with the dead, and in the Pacific boiled the flesh off enemy skulls to make table ornaments for sweethearts, or carved their bones into letter-openers.” That quote comes from a 1946 Atlantic Monthly article by Edgar L. Jones titled ‘One War Is Enough’. The article is here, and well worth the read (if you can handle the truth); —- http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/unbound/bookauth/battle/jones.htm

BACK TO THE VILLAGE IDIOT

The Village Idiot (bb) eventually did answer my question regarding WHICH results I’ve “enjoyed” as a result of “all those men dying”. This is all he could come up with;

“Think about it, if we had lost the war America as we knew it would not have been.”

To which I say, “If only that were true. If only ….”. There are a great many people who understand that our WWII victory was a Pyrrhic one. The Village Idiot will not believe me. He’ll probably even call me bad names. So, I close with a quote from Charles A. Lindbergh, 25 years after the war ended he wrote;

“We won the war in a military sense; but in a broader sense it seems to me we lost it, for our Western civilization is less respected and secure than it was before. In order to defeat Germany and Japan we supported the still greater menaces of Russia and China – which now confront us in a nuclear-weapon era. Much of our Western culture was destroyed. We lost the genetic heredity formed through eons in many million lives. It is alarmingly possible that World War II marks the beginning of our Western civilization’s breakdown, as it already marks the breakdown of the greatest empire ever built by man.”

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Fourth Turning: The People versus Big Brother

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

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Published on The Burning Platform on March 13, 2014

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

“The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort – in other words, a total war. Every Fourth Turning has registered an upward ratchet in the technology of destruction, and in mankind’s willingness to use it.” 

– Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

“In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”Frank Church on Meet the Press regarding the NSA – 1975

Ever since Edward Snowden burst onto the worldwide stage in June 2013, I’ve been wondering how he fits into the fabric of this ongoing Fourth Turning. This period of Crisis that arrives like clockwork, 60 to 70 years after the end of the previous Fourth Turning (Civil War – 66 years after American Revolution, Great Depression/World War II – 64 years after Civil War, Global Financial Crisis – 62 years after World War II), arrived in September 2008 with the Federal Reserve created collapse of the global financial system. We are now five and a half years into this Fourth Turning, with its climax not likely until the late-2020’s. At this point in previous Fourth Turnings a regeneracy had unified sides in their cause and a grey champion or champions (Ben Franklin/Samuel Adams, Lincoln/Davis, FDR) had stepped forward to lead. Thus far, no one from the Prophet generation has been able to unify the nation and create a sense of common civic purpose. Societal trust continues to implode, as faith in political, financial, corporate, and religious institutions spirals downward. There is no sign of a unifying regeneracy on the horizon.

The core elements of this Fourth Turning continue to propel this Crisis: debt, civic decay, global disorder. Central bankers, politicians, and government bureaucrats have been able to fashion the illusion of recovery and return to normalcy, but their “solutions” are nothing more than smoke and mirrors exacerbating the next bloodier violent stage of this Fourth Turning. The emergencies will become increasingly dire, triggering unforeseen reactions and unintended consequences. The civic fabric of our society will be torn asunder.

In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe

Debt

The core crisis element of debt is far worse than it was at the outset of this Crisis in September 2008. The National Debt has risen from $9.7 trillion to $17.5 trillion, an 80% increase in five and half years. It took 215 years for the country to accumulate as much debt as it has accumulated since the start of this Crisis. We continue to add $2.8 billion a day to the National debt, and the president declares it is time for this austerity to end. The total unfunded liabilities of the Federal government for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, government pensions and now Obamacare exceeds $200 trillion and is mathematically impossible to honor. Corporate debt stands at an all-time high. Margin debt is at record levels, as faith in the Federal Reserve’s ability to levitate the stock market borders on delusional. Consumer debt has reached new heights, as the government doles out subprime auto loans to deadbeats and subprime student loans to future University of Phoenix Einsteins. Global debt has surged by 40% since 2008 to over $100 trillion, as central bankers have attempted to cure a disease caused by debt with more debt.

All of this debt accumulation is compliments of Bernanke/Yellen and the Federal Reserve, who have produced this new debt bubble with their zero interest rate policy and quantitative easing that has driven their balance sheet from $935 billion of mostly Treasury bonds in September 2008 to $4.2 trillion of toxic mortgage garbage acquired from their owners – the insolvent Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks. This entire house of cards is reliant upon permanently low interest rates, the faith of foreigners in our lies, and trust in Ivy League educated economists captured by Wall Street. This debt laden house of cards sits atop hundreds of trillions of derivatives of mass destruction used by the Wall Street casinos to generate “riskless” profits. When, not if, a trigger ignites this explosive concoction of debt, the collapse will be epic and the violent phase of this Fourth Turning will commence.

Civic Decay

The core crisis element of civic decay is evident everywhere you turn. Our failed public educational system is responsible for much of the civic decay, as a highly educated critical thinking populace is our only defense against a small cabal of bankers and billionaires acquiring unwarranted influence and control over our country. Our children have been taught how to feel and to believe government propaganda. The atrocious educational system is not a mistake. It has been designed and manipulated by your owners to produce the results they desire, as explained bluntly by George Carlin.

“There’s a reason that education sucks, and it’s the same reason it will never ever ever be fixed. It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it. Be happy with what you’ve got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the real owners now, the big, wealthy, business interests that control all things and make the big decisions. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want—they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interest.”

The urban ghettos become more dangerous and uninhabitable by the day. The inner cities are crumbling under the weight of welfare spending and declining tax revenues. The very welfare policies begun fifty years ago to alleviate poverty have hopelessly enslaved the poor and ignorant in permanent squalor and destitution. The four decade old drug war has done nothing to reduce the use of drugs. It has benefited the corporate prison industry, as millions have been thrown into prison for minor drug offenses. Meanwhile, millions more have been legally addicted to drugs peddled by the corporate healthcare complex. The culture warriors and advocates of new rights for every special interest group continue their never ending battles which receive an inordinate amount of publicity from the corporate media. Class warfare is simmering and being inflamed by politicians pushing their particular agendas. Violence provoked by race and religion is growing by the day. The fault lines are visible and the imminent financial earthquake will push distress levels beyond the breaking point. Once the EBT cards stop working, all hell will break loose. Three days of panic will empty grocery store shelves and the National Guard will be called out to try and restore control.

Global Disorder

The core crisis element of global disorder is evident everywhere you turn. The false flag revolution in the Ukraine, initiated by the U.S. and EU in order to blunt Russia’s control of natural gas to Europe, has the potential to erupt into a full blown shooting war at any moment. The attempt by Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. to overthrow the Syrian dictator in order to run a natural gas pipeline across their land into Europe was blunted by Russia. Iraq is roiled in a civil war, after the U.S. invaded, occupied and destabilized the country. After 12 years of occupation, Afghanistan is more dysfunctional and dangerous than it was before the U.S. saved them from the evil Taliban. Unrest, violent protests, and brutal measures by rulers continue in Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, Venezuela, Bahrain, Brazil, and throughout Africa. American predator drones roam the skies of the world murdering suspected terrorists. The European Union is insolvent, with Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal propped up with newly created debt. Austerity for the people and prosperity for the bankers is creating tremendous distress and tension across the continent. A global volcanic eruption is in the offing.

It is clear to me the American Empire is in terminal decline. Hubris, delusion, corruption, foolish disregard for future generations and endless foreign follies have set in motion a chain of events that will lead to a cascading sequence of debt defaults, mass poverty, collapsing financial markets, and hyperinflation or deflation, depending on the actions of feckless bankers and politicians. There is no avoiding the tragic outcome brought on by decades of bad choices and a century of allowing private banking interests to control our currency. The “emergency” QE and ZIRP responses by the Federal Reserve to the Federal Reserve created 2008 financial collapse continue, even though the propaganda peddled by the Deep State tries to convince the public we have fully recovered. This grand fraud cannot go on forever. Ponzi schemes no longer work once you run out of dupes. With societal trust levels approaching all-time lows and foreign countries beginning to understand they are the dupes, another global financial crisis is a lock.

The Snowden Factor

With ten to fifteen years likely remaining in this Fourth Turning Crisis, people familiar with generational turnings can’t help but ponder what will happen next. Linear thinkers, who constitute the majority, mistakenly believe things will magically return to normal and we’ll continue our never ending forward human progress. Their ignorance of history and generational turnings that recur like the four seasons will bite them in the ass. We are being flung forward across the vast chaos of time and our existing social order will be transformed beyond recognition into something far better or far worse. The actual events over the coming decade are unknowable in advance, but the mood and reactions of the generational archetypes to these events are predictable. The actions of individuals will matter during this Fourth Turning. The majority are trapped in their propaganda induced, techno distracted stupor of willful ignorance. It will take a minority of liberty minded individuals, who honor the principles of the U.S. Constitution and are willing to sacrifice their lives, to prevail in the coming struggle.

Despite fog engulfing the path of future events, we know they will be propelled by debt, civic decay, and global disorder. Finding a unifying grey champion figure seems unlikely at this point. I believe the revelations by Edward Snowden have set the course for future events during this Fourth Turning. The choices of private citizens, like Snowden, Assange, and Manning, have made a difference. The choices we all make over the next ten years will make a difference. A battle for the soul of this country is underway. The Deep State is firmly ingrained, controlling the financial, political and educational systems, while using their vast wealth to perpetuate endless war, and domination of the media to manipulate the masses with propaganda and triviality. They are powerful and malevolent. They will not relinquish their supremacy and wealth willingly.

Snowden has revealed the evil intent of the ruling class and their willingness to trash the Constitution in their psychopathic pursuit of mammon. The mass surveillance of the entire population, locking down of an entire city in pursuit of two teenagers, military training exercises in major metropolitan areas, militarization of local police forces by DHS, crushing peaceful demonstrations with brute force, attempting to restrict and confiscate guns, molesting innocent airline passengers, executive orders utilized on a regular basis by the president, and treating all citizens like suspects has set the stage for the coming conflict. Strauss & Howe warned that history has shown armed conflict is always a major ingredient during a Fourth Turning.

“History offers even more sobering warnings: Armed confrontation usually occurs around the climax of Crisis. If there is confrontation, it is likely to lead to war. This could be any kind of war – class war, sectional war, war against global anarchists or terrorists, or superpower war. If there is war, it is likely to culminate in total war, fought until the losing side has been rendered nil – its will broken, territory taken, and leaders captured.” The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe -1997

It appears to me the Deep State is preparing for armed conflict with the people. Why else would they be utilizing Big Brother methods of surveillance, militarization of police forces  and Gestapo like tactics of intimidation to control the masses? This doesn’t happen in a democratic republic where private individuals are supposed to know everything done by public government servants, not vice versa. They know the cheap, easy to access energy resources are essentially depleted. They know the system they have built upon a foundation of cheap energy and cheap debt is unsustainable and will crash in the near future. They know their fiat currency scheme is failing.They know it is going to come crashing down.  

They know America and the world will plunge into an era of depression, violence, and war. They also know they want to retain their wealth, power and control. There is no possibility the existing establishment can be purged through the ballot box. It’s a one party Big Brother system that provides the illusion of choice to the Proles. Like it or not, the only way this country can cast off the shackles of the banking, corporate, fascist elites, and the government surveillance state is through an armed revolution. The alternative is to allow an authoritarian regime, on par with Hitler, Stalin and Mao, to rise from the ashes of our financial collapse. This is a distinct possibility, given the ignorance and helplessness of most Americans after decades of government education and propaganda.       

The average mentally asleep American cannot conceive of armed conflict within the borders of the U.S. War, violence and dead bodies are something they see on their 52 inch HDTVs while gobbling chicken wings and cheetos in their Barcalounger. We’ve allowed a banking cartel and their central bank puppets to warp and deform our financial system into a hideous façade, sold to the masses as free market capitalism. We’ve allowed corporate interests to capture our political system through bribery and corruption.

We’ve allowed the rise of a surveillance state that has stripped us of our privacy, freedom, liberty and individuality in a futile pursuit of safety and security. We’ve allowed a military industrial complex to exercise undue influence in Washington DC, leading to endless undeclared wars designed to enrich the arms makers. We’ve allowed the corporate media and the government education complex to use propaganda, misinformation and social engineering techniques to dumb down the masses and make them compliant consumers. These delusions will be shattered when our financial and economic system no longer functions. The end is approaching rapidly and very few see it coming.

Glory or Ruin?

The scenario I envision is a collapse of our debt saturated financial system, with a domino effect of corporate, personal, and governmental defaults, exacerbated by the trillions of currency, interest rate, and stock derivatives. Global stock markets will crash. Trillions in paper wealth will evaporate into thin air. The Greater Depression will gain a choke-hold around the world. Mass bankruptcies, unemployment and poverty will sweep across the land. The social safety net will tear under the weight of un-payable entitlements. Riots and unrest will breakout in urban areas. Armed citizens in rural areas will begin to assemble in small units. The police and National Guard will be unable to regain control. The military will be called on to suppress any and all resistance to the Federal government. This act of war will spur further resistance from liberty minded armed patriots. The new American Revolution will have begun. Leaders will arise in the name of freedom. Regional and local bands of fighters will use guerilla tactics to defeat a slow top heavy military dependent upon technology and vast quantities of oil. A dictatorial regime may assume power on a Federal level. A breakup of the nation into regional states is a distinct possibility.

With the American Empire crumbling from within, our international influence will wane. With China also in the midst of a Fourth Turning, their debt bubble will burst and social unrest will explode into civil war. Global disorder, wars, terrorism, and financial collapse will lead to a dramatic decrease in oil production, further sinking the world into depression. The tensions caused by worldwide recession will lead to the rise of authoritarian regimes and global warfare. With “advances” in technological warfare and the proliferation of nuclear warheads, this scenario has the potential to end life on earth as we know it. The modern world could be set back into the stone-age with the push of a button. There are no guarantees of a happy ending for humanity.

The outcome of this Fourth Turning is dependent upon the actions of a minority of critical thinking Americans who decide to act. No one can avoid the trials and tribulations that lie ahead. We will be faced with immense challenges. Courage and sacrifice will be required in large doses. Elders will need to lead and millennials will need to carry a heavy load, doing most of the dying. The very survival of our society hangs in the balance. Edward Snowden has provided an example of the sacrifice required during this Fourth Turning. How we respond and the choices we make over the next decade will determine whether this Fourth Turning will result in glory or ruin for our nation.

 

“Eventually, all of America’s lesser problems will combine into one giant problem. The very survival of the society will feel at stake, as leaders lead and people follow. The emergent society may be something better, a nation that sustains its Framers’ visions with a robust new pride. Or it may be something unspeakably worse. The Fourth Turning will be a time of glory or ruin.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

Click these links to read the first two parts of this three part series:

Do No Evil Google – Censor & Snitch for the State

Google, China, the NSA and the Fourth Turning

Why I stopped worrying and learned to love the currency collapse

Off the keyboard of Christian Gustafson

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Published on Deflation Land on October 16, 2013

strangelove

Discuss this article at the Economics Table inside the Diner

For the past 300 years, the historical pattern has been for the era marked by a century to continue into the following century by fourteen or fifteen years.Let me explain.  Everyone knows that the 19th Century, its uprightness, its optimism and sense of purpose, the halcyon days of British Empire, came to an end with World War I, starting in 1914 and building to a nasty crescendo by 1916.  The 20th Century had arrived, and it had some real horrors in store for us.

Germans before Kraftwerk
But if we return back another hundred years, we notice that the 18th Century ends in 1815 with the final defeat of Napoleon, that final project of the Enlightenment and of the French Revolution.  With the Congress of Vienna in 1814-1815, we have a new Europe along the lines of Metternich’s plan, and the 19th Century at last is here.
“Sorry, guys.  My bad.”
In 1713 and 1714, we have the Treaties of Utrecht, Baden, and Rastatt, bringing an end to the era of Spain as a major power, and the rise of the Habsburgs.  Louis XIV dies in 1715, after reigning for 72 years.  The Baroque period is over, and we are now firmly in the 18th Century.
War of Spanish Succession
We still live in the 20th Century.  Nothing much significant has changed in our lives in the past twenty years.  Symptoms of a deeper rot are appearing here and there, foreshadowing a larger crisis, but the crisis itself has not arrived yet.  We still live in an era of Pax Americana, the old republic very much a strained and tired Empire now, with the U.S. Dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
That is going to change.
The next task for History is to dismantle the untenable structures and institutions put in place by late Modernity, which have been extended now as far as they can go.  Our debt-based monetary system will collapse, our unbacked fiats will be worthless.  The debts and unmeetable obligations will all default.
There are ironies and great contradictions as the former home and hope of Liberty becomes viciously unfree and increasingly despotic.  Our leaders no longer govern, but try instead to rule us — they are less legitimate with each passing day, their laws corrupt or worse.  They are nearly finished, and will be swept away with the tide.
Just as in 1914, the internationalist system will break down, dashing the hopes of the would-be first-world nations.  We will probably have a pretty good war as well, or many local ones worldwide.  These transitions tend to involve war.
Deflation first — it clears the way for the complete loss of faith and hyperinflation that will follow.  The next big wave down in the financial markets is the battering ram.  The U.S. national debt is about faith, so is quantitative easing, and so is the very idea of magical coins that could ever be “worth” a trillion dollars.  When this is faith breaks, in concert with loss of faith in perpetual growth and unlimited cheap energy, then things will move very, very quickly.
There is nothing any of us can do at this point, except navigate the rapids as well as possible, and to stay out of the way of a dying empire, which is still very dangerous in its death throes.  We are actually very privileged to be alive and witnessing this next transition, to what we do not know just yet.  But what an honor to live at this time, not in ignorance but with an existential resolve to come out of it alive and much the wiser.
Ass Americana

Waging Progress…

Off the keyboard of Steve from Virginia

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Published on Economic Undertow on September 24, 2013



Somme 1

Unknown photographer, the French town of Péronne after being mined and shelled by combatants during the Somme offensive, 1916.

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics table inside the Diner

It can be said that war begins as a lie and ends as a tragedy. The easiest lie and the most grotesque … is that war is easy, rather, the next war will be easier than any of the others … that the end will be quick, that the ‘boys will be home by Christmas …’ that the war will not cost anything or it will be profitable to our side … that you too can be a winner. There are other lies, of course, all of them are closely twined together so tightly that is almost impossible to separate the strands. If history tells us anything it is that war is never easy, that short glorious wars have echoes that reverberate decade after decade, that the shadows of the great wars never really clear. Another lie is that technology applied to war possesses a form of moral supremacy identical to the forms it takes elsewhere … that war is integral to the progress narrative: more war = more progress;

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind …

On the first of July, 1916, the British and French launched a combined offensive against the Germans along a twenty-mile stretch of front between the hamlets of Gommecourt and Rosières-en-Santerre. The Somme River divided the battlefield from east to west, where Allied armies joined; the British to the north and the French to the south. The offensive was intended to press upon the right- or northern flank of a broad salient in the German front lines that protruded toward Compiegne about 50 miles north of Paris.

In preparing for the offensive, the Allied leadership was divided. Early on, the British sought a rapid breakthrough of poorly tended German defenses leading to a rapid advance into the German rear. The French wished to draw German reserves away from the charnel house that was Verdun. The two allies were never able to completely agree; a breakthrough in the area would not expose German strategic vulnerabilities, nor was there a particular strategic aim for the offensive other than it was past time for one.

The slow pace of planning was overtaken by events. The Verdun battle that had begun in February forced the French to draw on all its available forces. In June the Russian army launched the Brusilov Offensive into Galicia. This drew German reserves to the east, preventing a spoiling attack against the English. Ultimately, the Somme offensive became part of the greater effort to boil away the opposing armies by attrition; a non-strategy of ‘Verdun everywhere’. Neither side on the Western Front had the imagination — or enough of a manpower or materiel advantage — to alter the military balance, only one side to bleed the other and hope for the best.

An eight-day long English preparatory barrage of 1,500 heavy guns signaled the beginning of the assault north of the Somme River. Artillery alerted the Germans without seriously denting their positions. The defenders retired to dugouts or withdrew out of range until the barrage ended. Many of the British shells were duds while others fell short or passed over their intended targets. Meanwhile, commanders over-estimated the effect of the barrage and ordered infantry to advance across the no-man’s land in close order with heavy packs in broad daylight leaving them easy targets for German machine gunners.

Simple errors compounded problems: British troops — particularly junior officers — were inexperienced with little ability to act on their own initiative. British command compensated by drafting a rigid timetable for the assault. The British neglected to remove wire entanglements in front of of their own lines; troops were forced to pass through single file where they were exposed to the Germans. The barrage failed to clear German wire. As the assault got underway, the British infantrymen were unable to reach the German first-line positions and silence withering small-arms fire.

July 1 was the worst day in British military history. The army suffered 57,470 casualties, of which 19,240 men were killed, most of them on a six mile stretch of front between Gommecourt and the Albert-Bapaume road. Reinforcements were held up by waves of wounded streaming back toward the British line. Aid stations and field hospitals were overwhelmed. For all the bloodshed and courage of the soldiers, very little in the way of ground was gained. By the end of the day the front had been advanced only a few hundred meters around Mametz and Montauban with small gains elsewhere.

In the French sector, the artillery preparation were less deliberate, more shells were fired over a shorter period which gave the Germans less time to react. French infantry was able to quickly capture German forward positions and consolidate them. French soldiers had more combat experience than new British recruits and employed better tactics; Poilus bypassed and isolated German outposts rather than assaulting them in slow moving human waves.

Over the next four months, the offensive deteriorated into a series of bloody piecemeal attacks. When it finally petered out in November, the Germans had been pushed back to the greatest depth of about six miles. The cost was stupendous; approximately 1.2 million dead and wounded on both sides.

The 450,000 British losses represented the flower of English society, of the country’s working- and middle classes. These were the recruits enlisted into the army immediately after the war began in 1914; the Somme represented their first appearance in the trenches. The professional soldiers who had polished their craft in Britain’s numerous colonial wars were gone. The lives thrown away carelessly at the Somme were England’s fittest, most determined, best-educated and idealistic young men. The cost to Britain’s society was incalculable. On the other side, the 450,000 losses to Germany represented the flower of the Kaiser’s army; the last of its elite, peace-time trained pre-war cohort. By the harsh calculus by which wartime outcomes are measured, the Somme was a tremendous Allied success, the turning point of the war. The Allies had traded some inexperienced youths for an equal number of Germany’s better trained, more experienced veterans.

After the battle, the Germans would fill its ranks with the sorts of men that now populated the trenches of its Eastern European adversaries, the kinds of soldiers it at the beginning did not want or need: the less fit, the un-healed wounded pressed back into duty, the too-old or too-young, the shirkers, the anarchists, bohemians and revolutionaries, the criminals removed from prisons; those passed over in the first flush of recruitment as being too small, too uncertain, the workers in war-factories replaced by women and children … all those previously deemed unlikely to obey orders without question. The new soldiers were prematurely aged, skinny, haggard, sunken-chested, hollow cheeked with bad teeth; stunted from poverty and chronic ill-health, combed from the industrial ghettos and press-ganged from the Balkan margins of the expanding German Reich; they were the flower of nothing, the laborers and porters, stupid peasants and farmers, long-term exiles from gainful employment, the inmates from asylums. These were conjoined to the battlefield survivors; damaged soldiers who had learned by experience to ignore orders they did not like along with officers who had learned not to give them …

The fit and brilliant young soldiers ready to laugh at privation and danger would not be seen on the European battlefields until the Americans arrived long after the combatants had destroyed themselves, late in 1917.

A consequence of less-than-able soldiery was mutinies in the ranks. The Poilus rebelled 1917; fed up with the pointless slaughter and the apparent unconcern of the the high command that drove them to their deaths. The Austro-Hungarian army unraveled due to the strains imposed by the Brusilov campaign which in turn ended with a Russian mutiny. The French rebellion was suppressed, that in the Russian army was not; in 1917 the Tsar gave way to Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Germany’s mutiny came in 1918 after victory in the east … and crushing defeat in the trenches; it terminated the Kaiser’s rule and with it his war.

The Somme battle is noteworthy for the late appearance of the armored fighting vehicle and the deployment of large numbers of aircraft in combat roles. World War One was a technological war; there was the continuous application of the fruits of science and mechanical invention. Along with tanks and aircraft were improved rapid fire artillery and machine guns, smokeless powder and high explosives, submarines, depth charges, hand grenades, flamethrowers, wireless communications and poison gases. Technology then, as it does now, offered chances for one side or the other to end the war quickly. On the battlefield, technology increased the ability of countries to wage war … rather, wage ‘progress’ against the other side.

Advantages gained by technology ware short-lived. As soon as one side produced an invention, the other copied it or developed countermeasures. The tanks at the Somme battle were not strategically important. They broke down or caught fire, their armor plating was thin and easily punctured with light artillery or even machine guns. The vehicles were large and unwieldy, hard to see out of … they got lost on the battleground or tipped into shell craters. On level ground they were unable to keep pace with infantry. More technology would be needed before the tank would be useful as a battlefield weapon … and more countermeasures.

The first appearance of lethal gas was a little over a year earlier, on April 22, 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres, when German troops released 168 tons of chlorine gas from pressurized cylinders against French Territorial forces. The attack was successful in that the Algerian and Moroccan troops fled leaving behind 3,000 dead and a large gap in the Allied lines. The attack was a failure because the Germans were unprepared for their tactical success and had few reserves to exploit the opening which was soon blocked with a Canadian division. The Canadians countered the gas by urinating on pieces of cloth and using them as ad-hoc face masks.

As the war continued, so did the onslaught of gas; there were improvements in its lethality and the facility of its use. Along with improvements came systematic countermeasures, so that the effectiveness of the different forms were of diminished even as there were vastly increased amounts deployed. The primary chemical weapon of World War I was mustard gas discharged from artillery shells. Even though gas turned out to have minimal strategic importance, gas shells made up a large percentage of bombardments by both sides. Gas casualties were low — 3% or less of the total — cost to defenders was high as victims required more convalescent care at aid stations and in the rear than did other kinds of casualties. Gas also disproportionately effected morale, the bulky countermeasures were uncomfortable and confining. At the same time, properly equipped and trained soldiers were little effected by gas.

The gases used in the first world war were irritants or vesicants (blistering agents) that were lethal only when concentrated … at the impact point of a shell or at the bottom of a trench where the heavy compounds collected. Most effective as killers were not gases but diseases — including influenza which appeared in 1918 — infection of even minor wounds, artillery bombardments and fire from small arms especially machine guns.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

After the war research began on the second generation of military gases which were designed to be lethal at once in very small quantities. At the same time governments looked to the accumulated date and measured the costs and benefits of using gas on the battlefield.

Chemical weapons were not controllable: operational success depended on the weather. Changes in the wind brought gas back onto the army that discharged it. Cold rendered some types of gas harmless. Non-persistent gases dissipated quickly leaving little time for the attacker to exploit the effects of the gas. Persistent gases left soldiers unable to advance into contaminated battlefields without casualties.

With gas weapons available, there was no way for a country to ‘opt out’ of gas warfare costs. Countries foreswearing chemical weapons would find it necessary to pursue costly countermeasures, leading to a chemical arms’ race. The scale of World War One was sobering, the numbers hard to comprehend: even a small country might field an army of a million men or more; each needing protective gear and special training … also millions or more convalescent beds. In a gas war, the care of long-term invalids would bankrupt the victors. Gas created disproportionate adverse effects on morale. Even minor exposure left soldiers incapacitated for long periods; the agonies of gas poisoning and terror behind the lines of both soldiers and civilians contributed to breakdowns in discipline and revolts. Even if the weapons themselves did not affect outcomes, the related costs did. Gas threatened to make war too expensive to fight, large countries would be unable to intimidate or invade smaller ones. There would be no victories, no conquests, no glory or spoils. A large reason for having governments in the first place would vanish, put into receivership by … chemists.

Technology such as railroads, steamships, tanks and aircraft expanded the ability of countries to wage war at lower unit cost and over a much broader scale. Chemical and biological weapons offered the revolutionary potential to disable war itself … to undermine the desire on the part of citizens to submit to military discipline or support war policies. Gas was disruptive technology carried to its logical conclusion; it wasn’t too destructive, it was too subversive. The more capable or deadly the gas arsenal the more costly and useless it would become. World War One gases were incapacitating, costs were high but survivable. Science would soon offer gases of unparalleled lethality … accompanied by infinite costs. Progress would work in reverse: unit costs would balloon, military force would be too costly to deploy, the option to wage war would narrow then disappear. In a series of treaties beginning with Versailles, the Americans and Europeans agreed to control if not prohibit outright the use of chemical and biological weapons. These agreements were not difficult to make as adversaries likewise agreed to limit the size and numbers of capital ships for similar reasons.

Chemists in Germany after the war began investigatng agents that included cyanide and organophosphates. Phosphate compounds were patented by the Germans in the early- to mid 1930s. Originally, these were intended as pesticides, their lethality suggested themselves as military weapons. The British and Russians synthesized their own varieties, all of which effect the nervous system leading to respiratory paralysis and asphyxiation. The pathway of nerve gas in the body is not limited to inhalation, the gases can be absorbed through the skin, protection is needed for the entire body. Organophosphate nerve gas analogs are commonly used today as insecticides.

In 1935, the Italians used small amounts of mustard gas against soldiers and civilians during their conquest of Abyssinia. Japan used unspecified war gases against the Chinese during the late 1930s along with biological weapons.

Once World War II began, Germany began manufacturing the phosphate gases Tabun, later Sarin and Soman in large quantities. The Germans did not use their war gases on the battlefield, they were uncertain as to the Allies capacity; they feared being inundated by Allied nerve gases.

Gases were deployed most effectively by Germany against against war prisoners, ‘undesirables’ and the infirm during WWII. The gases used were carbon monoxide from engine exhaust and cyanide/prussic acid fumigants; both were introduced into confined spaces packed with victims. The Germans built a comprehensive, systematic killing apparatus; euthanasia centers for the elderly, ‘T-4′ centers for invalids, ‘clinics’ and ‘infirmaries’ in concentration camps, gas vans, various ‘crematoria’ as adjuncts to ordinary concentration-and slave labor camps as well as purpose-built killing camps. Within the two great killing camps, at Birkenau and Treblinka in Poland more than three millions were murdered with gas. Nearly a million of these were asphyxiated by carbon monoxide at Treblinka, the rest by ‘Zyklon B’ at Birkenau. It is likely that the total number of gas deaths during the second world war were greater than all the gas casualties — killed and wounded — inflicted during the first world war.

By the harsh calculus by which wartime outcomes are measured, the German poison gas campaign against its own civilian population was a complete catastrophe. Even if Germany had been able to hold off the Allies, the consequence of mass murder and slave labor would have been diminished output and the collapse of the German regime from within … just as the same miscalculation fatally undermined the Soviet Union. In Germany, the returns on the ability to wage progress — to apply technology to solve the problem of how to kill others — had diminished to nothing. Using more gas and building more death camps would not have saved Germany from destruction, rather, doing so insured it.

After the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945, the Americans and Russians uncovered German nerve gas laboratories and stockpiles. Gases as well as bacteriological agents were soon produced in very large quantities in both countries in a sort of semi-clandestine arms’ race.

Chemical and biological agents have been used in war since the Third Century BC and perhaps earlier. Gas has been deployed against rebels in Morocco by the Spanish, against Eritreans by Ethiopia, by Iraq against Iran, by the US against the Vietnamese — and ourselves, by the Soviets against Afghan Mujeheddin, by Soviet proxies against Hmong tribesmen and Khmers in Southeast Asia, by Iraq against Kurds at Halabja and elsewhere in 1988 …

During the Vietnam War, the US dispersed thousands of tons of herbicide over large areas of South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The purpose was not to kill outright but to remove cover for the enemy as well as destroy their food supply. The herbicide ‘Agent Orange’ was contaminated with dioxin and the ill effects were experienced by both civilians as well as American and Allied soldiers operating in these areas.

The more things change, the more they remain the same; a war begins as a lie. Poison gas appears to have been used recently against civilians in Syria. It is not clear who launched the gas attacks, yet the American establishment is quick to seize on this latest event as justification for a military intervention … to wage high-technology progress against unlucky Syrians. The establishment insists the world is outraged about Syrian gas which is false. What is being challenged is the bosses’ prerogative to bully smaller countries. American citizens are wise to say ‘enough!’ The establishment claims that a war in Syria would be easy; the failed US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq speak for themselves. Progress military-style has turned out to be a failure.

Here is another lie: that America has a moral responsibility to make bad matters worse in Syria … because worse is the only possible outcome.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

— Wilfred Owen; ‘It is sweet and glorious to die for one’s country … ‘ Owen was killed in France a week before the Armistice was to take effect, November 4, 1918.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Off the keyboard of RE

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

The Anniversary date of Occupy Wall Street has passed, barely a Blip on the Radar in the pantheon of major Newz Events unfolding around the world these days.  Die hard OWSers showed up on Wall Street, vastly outnumbered by the Massed Force of the World’s 7th Largest Army, the NYPD of Billionaire Mayor Micheal Bloombug.

With the exception of a few Striking Teachers in Chicago who Capitulated after a mere 6 Days of Striking, Amerika mostly proceeds onward here in gradual deterioration of Opportunity for most people, while a few at the top have access to the now ENDLESS supply of ZIRP Funny Money being produced by Da Fed.

Over in Asia, disgruntled Chinese are taking their Anger out on the Japanese, who didn’t manage to succeed in dominating China though WWII, but as the Chief Agent for Anglo-Illuminati Bizness Interests have done a pretty good job dominating China in the post-War years, accessing their Cheap Labor  and sieving profit out of that land mass for their Illuminati Masters.

Now the Nipponese are in their own World of Shit as Fuk-u-shima inexorably poisons their water supply, agricultural produce and fisherie, and so they covet some disputed Islands that they say they “own”, while the Chinese say they “own” them.  Mixed into that Ballgame, NATO is working on setting up more Oz Military fortresses and the Chinese are Talking a Bond War on the Nips, while their Hackers mess around with a few dozen websites to show they are SERIOUS.

Over in MENA, Syria remains a sewer, the Israelis keep Trash Talking the Iranians and Putin occasionally flexes Ruskie Muscle.  So the Flashpoints for International War between major Global Nation States are all in place here in many places, A False flag or even a REAL Flag might at some point get any of these rolling onward here.  But is INTERNATIONAL WAR, aka Global WWIII the most likely outcome here?  It may happen, but IMHO is subsidiary to the CIVIL WARS which are going to Sprout like Mushrooms as time goes by here.

Ambrose Evans Pritchard of the UK Telegraph  had this to say about the recent shenanigans going on over in Spain:

Tens of thousands marched in Madrid at the weekend to protest against drastic cuts, including a 7pc cut in public wages. A man set fire to himself in Portugal, where clashes turned violent.

The protests followed a traumatic week in Catalonia, where 1.5m took to the streets amid a wave of secessionist demands. Catalan leader Artur Mas has been swept by events into open confrontation with Madrid. Mr de Guindos pleaded for time, insisting that the reforms would lay the foundations for recovery. “These sacrifices are absolutely unavoidable.”

His claims were badly undercut by Nobel economist Joe Stiglitz, who told a Spanish forum that German austerity medicine is “utterly misguided” and will push Spain deeper into a downward spiral. It would be “suicidal” for Spain to accept a rescue if it involved more fiscal tightening, he said.

You know what the word secession means of course.  Same thing it meant here in the FSoA in the 1860s.  Southerners will often refer to the Civil War as the War of Secession or the War of Northern Aggression.

In another of the remakes of 1930s Cinema, Spain is on the brink of Civil War.

Like the Civil War here, the Spanish Civil War was really about the transition from the Agricultural Economy to the Industrial one.

From Wiki:

At the end of the 19th century, the owners of large estates, called latifundia, held most of the power in a land-based oligarchy. The landowners’ power was unsuccessfully challenged by the industrial and merchant sectors.[9] In 1868 popular uprisings led to the overthrow of Queen Isabella II of the House of Bourbon. In 1873 Isabella’s replacement, King Amadeo I of the House of Savoy, abdicated due to increasing political pressure, and the short-lived First Spanish Republic was proclaimed.[10][11] After the restoration of the Bourbons in December 1874,[12] Carlists and anarchists emerged in opposition to the monarchy.[13][14] Alejandro Lerroux helped bring republicanism to the fore in Catalonia, where poverty was particularly acute.[15] Growing resentment of conscription and of the military culminated in the Tragic Week in Barcelona in 1909.[16] After the First World War, the working class, the industrial class, and the military united in hopes of removing the corrupt central government, but were unsuccessful.[17] Fears of communism grew.[18] A military coup brought Miguel Primo de Rivera to power in 1923, and he ran Spain as a military dictatorship.[19] Support for his regime gradually faded, and he resigned in January 1930.[20] There was little support for the monarchy in the major cities, and King Alfonso XIII abdicated;[21] the Second Spanish Republic was formed, whose power would remain until the culmination of the Spanish Civil War.[22]

In Spain between WWI and WWII, it was finally the Industrialists time to take control over this country, which they had not been successful with in the 19th Centruy as they had with Britain, Germany and the FSoA.  A Military Coup d’Etat was organized up with Generallisimo Francisco Franco as the Strongman, backed by the other Fascist States of Europe at the time, the Italians led by Il Duce Benito Mussolini and the Krauts led by Der Fuehrer Adolf Hitler.  The Ruskies were funding the Loyalists, which ironically represented the traditional Landowners of the Feudal system but had a large Grassroots component which represented the Peasant class of Spain at the time.

The Spanish Civil War was particularly violent (though all such conflicts really are pretty nasty), and is best known to Amerikans through the writings of Ernest Hemingway in his Novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls“, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and made also into a film starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman.  At the end of the story, Hemingway’s Protagonist Robert Jordan is wounded  and makes his Last Stand to take out as many Fascists as he can while his Guerilla Fighter friends and True Love Maria make their escape.

The theme of Self-Sacrifice in Civil War and the conflicts to come in this Go Round are ones often explored around the Tables inside the Diner, as each person attempts to work out for themselves how they will react when confronted with such situations.

For those of us currently living inside the FSofA, these choices still seem Far Off, far enough off that most folks do not even want to consider them.  More often the discussions are about how you might try to AVOID becoming Cannon Fodder in such a war and how to achieve basic survival with enough Food and Fresh Water and Shelter once the current systems holding our society together begin to break down.

It is however unlikely that most of us will be able to avoid the consequences of the breakdown of Industrial Society, already well in progress across much of the world as we speak.  The ongoing Wars both Civil and International all throughout MENA now are the direct consequence of diminishing Available Energy from Fossil Fuels, and the diminishing ability to bring the “benefits” of Industrial Civilization to more societies, or even to maintain them in the societies that took them on in the aftermath of WWI and WWII.

This diminishing capacity to maintain the Industrial Society is already most apparent in the Western societies in Greece and now Spain as well.  Greece is a relatively small economy though, and in order to keep the banking system from suffering a Cascade Failure numerous Kludges have been undertaken to prevent an outright Officially recognized Default from occurring there.  The Greeks themselves are not doing any better with the perpetual Bailouts of their banking system, but their political organization is in complete dissarray and Greece is well on its way to becoming a Failed State on the model of Somalia or Zimbabwe.  Critical difference there in terms of general perceptions is that this is in EUROPE, not in AFRICA.

While the problem inside Greece can be masked somewhat, it is not so easy to mask the SAME problems occurring on a larger scale in Spain.  The much larger scale of the problem along with long standing animosity between the Castillians and Catalonians have now created a clear division in Spain, not dissimilar in many respects to the division in the Muslim world between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.  Like that situation where all are Muslims, in Spain they are all Roman Catholics.  The division here is more along traditional Tribal Lines rather than all that much disagreement on Religious principles.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard contributed a bit more to this yesterday in another article about the possibilities for Secession by the Catalonians:

 

Catalonian independence graffiti

It is the latest move in a fast-escalating clash between Catalan nationalists and Spanish nationalists, the latter backed by King Juan Carlos and the Spanish military.

Jose-Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the foreign minister, threw down the gauntlet, calling Catalan secession “illegal and lethal”. He warned that Spain would use its veto to stop the region of Catalonia becoming an EU member “indefinitely”.

The constitutional crisis has eclipsed the parallel drama of a Spanish bail-out request from the European Stability Mechanism. It is no longer clear whether premier Mariano Rajoy can deliver on any austerity deal with Brussels.

Catalan leader Artur Mas held high-stakes talks with Mr Rajoy in Madrid on Thursday, armed with a mandate from the Catalan parliament and with charged emotions left from an unprecedented protest by 1.5m people in Barcelona 10 days ago.

He demanded an independent treasury for the rich Catalan region, with control over its own tax base akin to the model already enjoyed by Basques. The 9m Catalans have an economy the size of Austria’s.

“It did not go well,” he said. The Rajoy government said Spain’s constitution allows no margin for compromise. Mr Mas refused to meet the press in the prime minister’s offices, retreating to the Catalan delegation, where he spoke before the Catalan and EU flags. “Constitutions may or may not be modified, but they do not subjugate the will of the people,” he said.

Catalonia’s parliament will meet next week to “think deeply” about its next fateful step. “Catalonia will follow its path. We have no enemies but we will build our own project as a country,” said Mr Mas.

The newspaper Confidencial reported that his Convergència i Unió (CiU) party and coalition partners have asked the European Commission whether Spain can prevent Catalans exercising democratic self-determination, and whether a sovereign Catalonia could remain part of the EU’s single market and the euro.

The speed of events has caught almost everybody by surprise, including Mr Mas himself. His CiU has, until now, pursued a policy of calculated ambiguity over secession. Mr Mas has pivoted quickly, embracing what he calls the “popular outcry” as his own.

The antagonisms date back to the Franco era and, above all, to 1714 when Philip V abolished all Catalan institutions, and imposed Castilian laws and absolutism by right of conquest.

Diplomats say Mr Rajoy’s Partido Popular has provoked the latest eruption of fury by exploiting the economic crisis to break the power of the regions. This came to a head over the summer when Catalonia was forced to request a €5bn rescue from Madrid, though it is a net contributor to the Spanish state.

Spain’s economic slump has frayed nerves across the country, much as it did before the Civil War in the 1930s. Unemployment has risen to 25.1pc and may go higher as the delayed effects of austerity bite deeper.

Citigroup expects the economy to contract by 3.2pc next year and 0.8pc in 2014, pushing public debt to 100pc of GDP.

Chief economist Willem Buiter said the mix of austerity and reform will not restore Spain to “fiscal sustainability”, even if EU loans keep Spain going for another couple of years. He expects “debt restructuring” in the end. The warm glow of the European Central Bank’s bond plan helped Spain sell 10-year debt at 5.66pc on Thursday, the lowest since February.

Mr Rajoy appears to determined to play for time, hoping that he can muddle through without a rescue.

Traders say such gamesmanship is unlikely to succeed for long. Mr Rajoy also hopes to siphon off part of the €100bn in EU rescue package for Spanish banks, but this is certain to infuriate Germany’s Bundestag.

Spanish politics are now intruding, in any case. An EU bail-out memorandum would have to include fiscal restraint for the regions, further inflaming Catalonia.

The risks of a misjudgement are growing. The king caused irritation in Catalonia this week by warning against the seduction of “chimeras” – his first such crisis intervention since 1981.

A serving army officer, Colonel Francisco Alaman, has fuelled the flames by comparing the crisis with 1936 – when Gen Francisco Franco seized power – and by vowing to crush Catalan nationalists, described as “vultures”.

“Independence for Catalunya? Over my dead body. Spain is not Yugoslavia or Belgium. Even if the lion is sleeping, don’t provoke the lion, because he will show the ferocity proven over centuries,” he said.

Retired Lt-Gen Pedro Pitarch, a former army chief, said the words reflect “deeply-rooted thinking in large parts of the armed forces”. He also accused Madrid of bungling the Catalan drama disastrously.

“Are we looking at a failed state?” he asked. Investors holding Spanish debt are listening carefully.

Catalonians unhappy with the general distribution of Wealth and Taxation throughout Spain now wish to form their OWN seperate Country recognized by the European Union in general.  Though why anyone would care or want to be recognized by that bunch of scumbags I have no clue whatsoever.

What this represents is much the same as the breakup of the Soviet Union after the fall of the Berlin Wall, which is One-to-the-Many dissolution; as opposed to Many-to-the-One Consolidation which has been underway since the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution 10 Millenia ago or so.  This Many-to-One consolidation accelerated tremendously of course in the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution, as the War machine of the Military-Industrial Complex moved around the world basically beginning with the War of Northern Aggression and the forcible openning of Japan by Matthew Perry’s Gunboats.  WWI and WWII were the final steps in Consolidation of Power by the Industrialist Illuminati, and Bretton-Woods brought the entire World under the domination of the BIS, utilizing the Dollar as World Reserve Currency.

The Dissolution of the Soviet Union along with the progressive dissolution of many smaller Nation States into their separate components is the Beginning of the End for Globalization.  The opposite side to the Secessionists in Catlaonia are of course the Krauts and their Client states in Northern Europe who all wish to perpetuate the European Union under THEIR control, forcing all the PIIGS nations to accept a loss of Soveregnty and Fiscal Watchdogs from the IMF dictating to them how they spend their money, which of course is not their money at all but money created out of thin air by the Bankster Cabal of the Illuminati.

To me, the obvious loss of control here throughout the system with evermore Nation-States devolving into this type of internal bickering spells the Death Knell for Globalism, and with that the withering of the Power of the Illuminati.  Not that they will go Quietly into this Good Night of course, but without the Cheap Oil to power the War Machine and maintain the vast connections of the Electric Grids and the World Wide Web, this kind of Global Power simply cannot continue to function.

As it decays, certainly you see the International Wars being fought here for Oil in MENA, but really the more important and critical wars are the Civil ones already underway, and those still to come.  Anyone who believes that the FSoA will hold together as a Unit once the spin down works its way inward from the Peripheral Economies into the Central Ringfenced ones is positively nuts.  CBs can print Money in perpetuity, but they CANNOT Print Oil or Print Food.  You CANNOT MAKE SOMETHING FROM NOTHING!

It is just a matter of time before the Spanish problems migrate to Italy also, from there to France and then finally work their way inward past the Ruhr Valley into Krautland.  In fact it may not even take that long, since it remains unclear that the Krauts can split themselves off from the collapsing economies of the PIIGS either.  Europe is bound to fracture, and then after that the FSofA and China and Russia and Japan will all fracture also.  Countless and endless Civil Wars everywhere is the outcome of that, not really International Wars fought by integrated Nation States.

In such a time, with so much strife coming to your neighborhood in due time, for anyone to believe they will be able to manage a Peaceful Doomstead is mostly a pretty unreasonable hope.  Similarly unreasonable are hopes that having a large stash of Possessible Gold and Junk Silver Coins will help you all that much either.

Like the Spaniards in Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, you have to come to grips with the fact inside your own country, nay inside your own COMMUNITY there will be Competing Interests at work, those with a stake in the Game of Globalism who wish it to continue onward, and the vast majority of the disenfranchised with little stake in this other than their dependence on the Systems it uses for control.  In every community in one way or the other you will be forced to line up on one side or the other as the society fractures along the lines of Haves and Have Nots.

When it does, it behooves all to remember the words of John Donne

 from
Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions
MEDITATION XVII.
N
UNC LENTO SONITU DICUNT, MORIERIS.
Now this bell tolling softly for another, says to me, Thou must die.

PERCHANCE he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill as that he knows not it tolls for him.  And perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.  The church is catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she does, belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that head which is my head too, and ingraffed into that body, whereof I am a member.  And when she buries a man, that action concerns me; all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God’s hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again, for that library where every book shall lie open to one another; as therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come; so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness.

There was a contention as far as a suit (in which, piety and dignity, religion and estimation, were mingled) which of the religious orders should ring to prayers first in the morning; and it was determined, that they should ring first that rose earliest.  If we understand aright the dignity of this bell, that tolls for our evening prayer, we would be glad to make it ours, by rising early, in that application, that it might be ours as well as his, whose indeed it is.  The bell doth toll for him, that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that minute, that that occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God.  Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises?  But who takes off his eye from a comet, when that breaks out? who bends not his ear to any bell, which upon any occasion rings?  But who can remove it from that bell, which is passing a piece of himself out of this world?

No man is an island,  entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were;  any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbors.  Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did; for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it.  No man hath afflicion enough, that is not matured and ripened by it, and made fit for God by that affliction.  If a man carry treasure in bullion or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current moneys, his treasure will not defray him as he travels.  Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell that tells me of his affliction, digs out, and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another’s danger, I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.

Remember the Words of John Donne when the Big Show Comes to a Theatre Near You, for it most surely is coming now to about ALL Homo Sapiens who Walk the Earth at the End of the Age of Oil.  Go With God my Friends, and…

SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

RE

Of Mad Men …

Off the keyboard of Steve from Virginia

 

Not many people would recognize the name Edvard Beneš, some might identify him as a Hungarian. Others would suggest an obscure novelist or a symphony conductor … obviously intelligent and well-mannered individual, an economist or law professor. He would have a hotel or a library named after him somewhere: take a little time to look up the name Edvard Beneš:

 

Edvard Beneš was born into a peasant family in the small town of Kožlany, Bohemia, ca. 60 km west of Prague.  …  He spent much of his youth in Vinohrady district of Prague, where he attended a grammar school from 1896 to 1904. During this time he played football for Slavia Prague. After studies at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Charles University in Prague, he left for Paris and continued his studies at the Sorbonne and at the Independent School of Political and Social Studies (École Libre des Sciences Politiques). He completed his first degree in Dijon, where he received his Doctorate of Laws in 1908. Then he taught for three years at the Prague Academy of Commerce, and after his habilitation in the field of philosophy in 1912, he became a lecturer in sociology at Charles University.

[…]

During World War I, Beneš was one of the leading organizers of an independent Czechoslovakia abroad. He organized a Czech pro-independence anti-Austrian secret resistance movement called “Maffia”. In September, 1915, he went into exile where in Paris he made intricate diplomatic efforts to gain recognition from France and the United Kingdom for the Czechoslovak independence movement, as he was from 1916–1918 a Secretary of the Czechoslovak National Council in Paris and Minister of the Interior and of Foreign Affairs within the Provisional Czechoslovak government.

[…]

From 1918–1935, Beneš was first and the longest serving Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia, and from 1920–1925 and 1929–1935 a member of the Parliament. He represented Czechoslovakia in talks of the Treaty of Versailles. In 1921 he was a professor and also from 1921–1922 Prime Minister. Between 1923–1927 he was a member of the League of Nations Council (serving as president of its committee from 1927–1928). He was a renowned and influential figure at international conferences, such as Genoa 1922, Locarno 1925, The Hague 1930, and Lausanne in 1932.

Beneš was a member of the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party (until 1925 called Czechoslovak Socialist Party) and a strong Czechoslovakist – he did not consider Slovaks and Czechs to be separate ethnicities.

In 1935, Beneš succeeded Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk as President. He opposed Nazi Germany’s claim to the German-speaking so-called Sudetenland in 1938. In October, the Sudeten Crisis brought Europe on the brink of war, which was averted only as France and Great Britain signed the Munich Agreement, which allowed for the immediate annexation and military occupation of the Sudetenland by Germany.

 

Neither Beneš nor any member of the Czecho-slovak government was permitted to attend the conference where the little country was sacrificed to Hitler and his mad men.  The Euro-powers England and France were unprepared for war, they overestimated Hitler’s readiness and demurred. Czecho-slovakia was sacrificed to buy goods that could not be had: peace or greater preparedness. Out of recession and deleveraging of the 1930s, no country had anything but a transient material advantage over the others.

What emerged instead was a contest of institutional restraints, or between restraints on one part versus their absence on the other. There was the high-minded rationalization on the part of the powers versus the total absence of same on the part of the Germans. The German strategic advantage was set in high relief in Munich by Germany’s reasonable and well-intended adversaries. To outmaneuver whatever obstacles Germany might encounter on its path to geographic empire it had only to react to restraint as if it was acknowledgement of fatal weakness. The Germans would demand everything, to threaten annihilation otherwise, to exceed all limits, to put its army on wheels so that it might be turned loose in all directions, to massacre without conscience … to be unorthodox in all things or appear to be so. To be modern, in other words: restraint was prissy and old-fashioned, bourgeois and incompetent. According to German doctrine, there was to be no place in the modern world for anachronistic little duchies and principalities … Negotiations and conferences existed only to produce surrender documents.

After Munich, restraint was synonymous with cowardice and appeasement along with the word ‘Munich’ itself. Hitler was outraged that the appeasement had cost him a war that he was sure Germany would win.

Neville Chamberlain, British ambassador Neville Henderson, German foreign minister Ribbentrop and Hitler at Munich. By 1946 all of these men were dead, all of the European countries and their economies were destroyed.

Sudetenland was handed over immediately after the Munich Accord, announced with fanfare, the rest of the country was annexed by Germany and Hungary within six months. The accord offering ‘Peace in our time’ was not worth the paper it was written on, like so much else within modernity, it was a another false ‘tomorrow promise’.

After Munich, Beneš fled into exile in Britain, after the war he was part of a brief independent Czech government that was eventually undermined by the Soviets in 1948.

Right now ‘Munich 2.0′ spools out right under everyone’s noses: the Spanish public is sold into the abyss by the feckless government seeking to buy a little time. Like the Czechs and Slovaks in 1938, the people have nothing to say about their own fate … which is determined in the shadows by unrestrained and unaccountable mad men (Telegraph):

Prime minister Mariano Rajoy explains the surrender of Spain to the Anglo-American banking cabal in front of the Spanish Parliament, admits draconian terms demanded by EU financiers. Photo: AFP

 

Debt crisis: Spain bows to EU ultimatum with drastic cuts

Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy has raised VAT sharply in a humiliating volte-face and pushed through €65bn (£51bn) of drastic austerity measures to comply with a European Union ultimatum, risking a downward spiral into full depression.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

In Churchillian tones of blood and toil – even as Asturian miners and their wives clashed violently with police after a three-week march on Madrid – Mr Rajoy called for yet another round of cuts, admitting that Spain was obliged to take “urgent” action under the terms of the latest EU summit deal.

“We Spanish no longer have the choice whether or not to make sacrifices. We no longer have such liberty,” he said.

Hours before, the daily newspaper El Pais had stunned the nation by publishing the leaked “Memorandum” imposed by the eurozone’s creditor bloc as the condition for Spain’s €100bn bank rescue.

The draconian terms include an EU takeover of the Spanish financial system, with calls for haircuts on €67bn of junior and hybrid bank debt, a bad bank to wind down crippled lenders, “on-site” raids by inspectors, and intrusive demands across the gamut of fiscal policy.

 

The Washington Consensus succeeded brilliantly in Greece, the obvious reason to apply it with more vigor in Spain.

Chamberlain and Daladier ‘understood’ that Germans would not annex anything more than a small part of Czecho-slovakia. Rajoy understood that Spain would not be subject to severe austerity by the finance sector in return for what amounts to a trifling borrowed sum. Unlike the aggressive, militaristic Hitler, today’s mad men are well mannered and abstract. The outcome for the victims is identical, bondage and pillage. Because no one else will lend to Spain, with no great power England or France — or United States — to rescue her, there is no choice for the unimaginative Rajoy but to sell his country down the river.

Like the hapless Beneš there is certain to be a place in the Spanish rump for the elder statesman Rajoy long after the country is a smoking ruin. Like Beneš, he looks good in a suit.

The Spanish establishment does not understand symmetry. There is nothing to compel Spain to borrow under duress, or to prevent Spain from repudiating the odious- and ill considered debts it has already taken on. If the country had a real government instead of a cowardly fake it would behave the same as the mad men, to stand up to them, to beat the bullies and put them in their place. The establishment fails to understand the economic dynamic that is underway. The cost of submission is no different from the cost of non-submission. Putting the costs of unrestricted capital back upon capital is where it belongs. Spain would abandon its costly ‘prosperity’ but would maintain its sovereignty and the freedom if its citizens to act for themselves. By surrendering, the prosperity is gone and so is the sovereignty. The citizens are free to be paupers or emigres. Spain becomes a colony of Wall Street.

The current tragedy in Europe is unfolding with the same sense of dishonor and inevitability as during 1938. History may rhyme as Mark Twain once said, but it clearly is repeating itself, now. The establishments around the world insist on sacrificing others to the mad men. This strategy fails, appeasement makes these men bolder, they cannot be satiated or even evaded. Their ambition and reach has become universal, they are monsters. They must be destroyed, annihilated and all memories of them done away with. Their tools of destruction which they promote as ‘efficiency’ must be hammered flat and repudiated. The steps leading to Munich failed to bring peace but led instead to a great war, the steps leading to Brussels follow the exact same path. It is the cowardice of the good people, the moral relativism of the disinterested who refuse to see it.

The Europeans and their economic ministers and economics do not understand what it underway. Europe is subject to an Anglo-American credit embargo similar to those implemented in Latin America in the 1980s and in S. Asia in the 1990s. The US gains more from Europe’s bankruptcy than it can gain as return on new credit.

Because the establishment does recognize the energy component to their economic troubles they cannot see the potential gains to others … from Europe’s collapse.

Europe consumes 15 million barrels of petroleum per day: by bankrupting the EU 10 millions of those barrels can be exported to the US instead. This is the equivalent to the production of Saudi Arabia, without all the drilling.

The 5% reduction in fuel availability in the West in 1973 resulted in what was the world’s deepest post- WWII recession, excluding the current recession. At issue is a reduction of 70%.

Analysts blame the European problems on corrupt Greeks and others but these countries did not make the loans to themselves: it takes two corrupts to tango. The Eurozone was a pit of predatory lending under false pretenses (for fake, USA-style ‘prosperity’). The euro was — and is — a defective credit instrument similar to a sub-prime mortgage.

No sovereign can repay finance-level debts, such a thing is impossible. Greece cannot repay, Spain cannot hope to begin to repay.

Not only cannot Greece repay, Germany in full flower of industrial output cannot repay Greek debts. The demand for repayment is a charade and anyone bothering to look for more than five minutes can see that this is true.

The rate of change in GDP year over year is the surplus carried forward over the previous year’s expenses. It is this margin from which a country’s debts might be serviced — not retired — the annual increase in German GDP might be sufficient to partially service Greek debts for that year. Anyone who believes that Germany could repay Greek debts believes in unicorns and fairies.

Keep in mind that GDP growth must also meet other expenses besides service of loans outstanding. Almost all debt service is financed along with principal roll-over.

The Germans object to the obligation to repay Greek debts, it is because such a thing is impossible regardless of intentions.

Greece is dependent upon external sources of (borrowed) capital: Germany genuflects in the direction of capital because Germany itself is just as dependent on external capital flows as is Greece.

If Germany cannot repay Greek debts how can Greece be expected to do so, in the face of a credit embargo?

The embargo is effective because there is no European lender of last resort: what passes for one appears to offer unsecured loans to banking clients which themselves are insolvent. A lender of last resort cannot at the same time be insolvent: the one concept excludes the other. When the central bank takes on the impaired loans of its clients it becomes insolvent, it loses credibility.

Because of system insolvency there are fatal bank runs. These are taking place this minute.

Debts are intractable: they must either be replaced/refinanced with more debts or they must be repudiated, there is no other way. When debts are repudiated, the country is de-industrialized as it cannot import fuel, its money is unacceptable.

The fantasy of industrialization and so-called ‘progress’ is what various ‘leaderships’ including Rajoy’s are loathe to abandon. This is even as industrialization destroys the countries’ economies and the countries themselves. Managements cling to the false promises that have been offered for 400 years, that have brought wealth to a handful of thieves in exchange for Napoleon, revolutions. Communism, Hitler, world wars and great depressions. This, then … is the dividend of concentration and economies of scale, leaving out the complete destruction of the very air, land and water upon which we as living creatures absolutely depend … for a few pieces of colored paper.

If the country does not repudiate its debts, its money is unacceptable anyway as the money is proxy for nothing but unserviceable debts.

This non-acceptance is the end of the road … the end of all the roads.

By repudiating the debts all of the associated wealth is annihilated: wealth = debt. The problem is the foolish Europeans  want to get rid of the debt and keep the wealth. They do not accept that, a) this cannot be done, and b) there is really no such thing as money-wealth.

What comes this way is the contest between the few, the mad men with their machines and their blandishments, their constant readiness to do the world ill for their immediate gain. On the other side of the contest is the void, a bloated dependent (over)population: here is the reason for overpopulation in the first place! Dependents dare not agitate without risking starvation, homelessness or withholding of institutional ‘benefits’. There is the loss of place, a generalized self-contempt, selfishness and institutionalized laziness. Not the stuff of revolutions or reform.

The mad men inch closer to self-immolation, to take the rest of the world with it. This is the end-game of industrialization, the promise of Valhalla the reality of a wasteland.

Keynes was wrong, in the short run we are all dead.

Lawrence of Arabia

Discuss this post at the Energy Table in the Diner

RE’s Daily Rant-3-10-2011

Posted originally on TBP on 10th March 2011 by Reverse Engineer in Economy |Politics

I read an article yesterday rehashing how the Ottoman Empire got carved up after WWI, creating all the current Nation-States in North Africa. These states are now oozing into an amorphous mass of Jello, quite a bit like the Evil Senator in the original “X-Men” movie after he is turned into an Artificial Mutant. They never really had much holding them together besides the power of the war machine apparatus handed to cooperative puppet Sheiks and Dictators by the Illuminati beginning in the aftermath of WWI. Certainly no “Democratic” buy in from the populations they ruled anyhow.

The key point in the article revolved around the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which first discovered the massive reserves under what is now Iran in the early 1900s. This was of course Laurence of Arabia time, more or less the last of the Glory Years of the British Empire.

Now, in the years since 2007 when I really started reading up on History, I did become aware of the role of the Oil Companies in creating the Puppet States of the M.E., but what really hit me reading this article yesterday how completely UNAWARE I was of this history prior to 2007.

Besides having taken all the required History classes in the NYC Public Schools through my HS years, I also had to sit through 2 years of “Contemporary Civilizations”, part of the Core Curriculum at Columbia. Besides that, I was a huge pop culture sponge, saw all the John Wayne and Audie Murphy WWI and WWII B-Movies ever produced I think, along with Epics like Laurence of Arabia, Patton, Bridge on the River Kwai, From Here to Eternity, Midway Tora, Tora, Tora, etc etc etc. In all of that stuff, I cannot remember a single instance where OIL was mentioned as a motivating cause for any of the Wars or any of the Colonial maneuvers of the British Empire. Hell, it doesn’t even appear in the writings of Karl Marx or JM Keynes far as I can remember.

I even remember a question which briefly hit my head when I saw the movie “Patton” as a teenager, which chronicled the exploits of the Potty-Mouth Tank General in his fight with the Desert Fox Erwin Rommel across the sands of North Africa. The question was “If we were fighting to Liberate Germany and Italy and France from the grip of the Evil Dictator Adolf Hitler, WTF were we fighting down in Africa to do it? Why did the Germans have a huge Tank army down in Africa?”

Now of course its OBVIOUS to me, the two Industrial Giants of the era, England and Germany, neither with huge Oil resources of their own (the North Sea fields hadn’t yet been drilled) were both fighting over the main resource necessary to build their industrial economies AND run their mechanized War Machines, which was down in North Africa and the M.E.!

Why didn’t the Ruskies roll some tanks in that battle? Because of course they had plenty of Oil on their own Home Soil at the time. They were mainly concerned with keeping Hitler from rolling tanks into Russia to steal their Oil. The Germans were basically SOL as far as Oil on Home Soil. The Amerikans who also had their own Oil were mainly fighting to help the British who needed the Oil to run their War machine. Likely also they were quite aware the Home Soil Oil in the FSofA was limited, and they would eventually need the Towel Head Oil to keep the industrial paradigm moving forward here.

As Plain as Day as all this is NOW to me, somehow the fact that in both WWI and WWII they were Resource Wars for control of the Oil got left out of all the History Textbooks I ever read, all the Economics Texbooks AND all the Pop Culture Movies and TV shows “explaining” the reasons for these Wars as battles for Freedom and Democracy against Fascism and Totalitarianism. Even the collapse of the economic system of the Great Depression is only tangentially referred to as a Cause of WWII, what is really focused on is that WWII is what brought us OUT of the Depression. The cause of the Great Depression was “shrouded in mystery” with conflicting theories put forth on why it occurred, with Blame being laid on Stock Market Speculation, Smoot-Hawley Protectionism, etc. I never even heard of the failure of Credit-Anstaldt in Austria until after 2007. Honestly, even though I took Economics 101 in my Freshman Year, I simply had no CLUE on how money was CREATED, only that it existed and you used it to measure productivity. I kick myself in the head for being so fucking clueless as to not even ASK this question back then, but to me Money just EXISTED. I had to have it to pay the half of my tuition, not covered by scholarship grants, I had to work to get it or borrow it. Dad the Bankster Pigman and I were not on speaking terms in those days, so he was no help. I just never really thought about how it actually got its perceived value though.

Now I am sorry, it just strains credibility for me to believe that generations of Historians and Economists since the time of Laurence of Arabia managed to MISS the importance of cheap energy in running the Industrial Model. These Ph.D.s were not clueless teenagers who partied too hard Drinking Cheap Keg Beer Bonging Turkish Hashish and Fucking Illuminati Spawn in the Barnard Dormitory who were only semi-conscious the following morning during lectures in Economics. It is the numero uno necessary Input to run a factory besides labor, once you have substituted Oil for Coal. So I can only conclude here that this stuff has been purposefully eliminated and ignored from the typical History and Economics textbooks to keep the general population IGNORANT of how energy was being used to control the developing societies of the Industrial Era.

Anyhow, as we move forward with WWIII here, once again the Battle is over the Oil in the M.E., which pretty much represents the last of the really CHEAP oil its possible to find anymore. Sure, some huge fields have been found under the Deep Ocean strata of the sea floor, but it is very expensive and difficult to pump up, with obvious Hazards of working with such High Pressures as you get down so deep, exemplified by the failure of the BOP on the Deepwater Horizon. There is also a lot of Oil in the Tar Sands of Canada, but extracting it takes tons of energy and tons of water. Its not CHEAP Oil.

Now, even if we do succeed somehow in securing the Oil remaining in the M.E. with NATO High Tech weaponry and Chinese Boots on the Ground, the amount of time this would buy the Industrial model based on Oil is marginal at best. It is pretty clear from leaked memos that the Saudis and everybody else down there in the M.E. has grossly overstated the Reserves they have. So maybe best case scenario even with a quick Genocide of the Uppity Muslims down there pissed off at starving on $2/day wages, we might get what, another Decade of Happy Motoring? It is unlikely however this War concludes all that quickly, and what is likely is that more of the currently producing wells down there will go Off-Line as the anarchy proceeds. Libya’s production is already down by roughly 2/3rds. So on a Global Basis, I can see no way where we will not begin to experience real shortages of Oil in the next 1-2 years, even beyond the Economic spin down of the monetary system.

That does not mean however that the FSofA will likely experience these shortages first, but rather that smaller peripheral economies with much smaller Militaries will be Triaged out first. My guess would be that the most recently Industrialized coutries in S.E. Asia will be the first ones Starved of Oil. Then India goes, then Industrialized countries in South America like Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Then the poorer counties in Southern Europe like Portugal, Italy and Spain, and finally moving inward to France and Germany before it finally hits the FSofA and China in full force. Chimerica can be viewed as a single Economic Unit based on Oil, where the Chinese function as the Production end and the FSofA as the Consumption end of the Waste-Based economy of Capitalism. Together, they are the dominant Military societies of the world in Tech and Population, and will keep what Oil still flows directed toward themselves as long as possible. Only once all the other economies have been starved out of Oil will the real starvation of this resource take place in these two powerhouses, so until then we are Married to the Chinese.

This is not to say that as Oil Starvation begins to take hold in the peripheral economies that both here and in China we will be forced into Oil Austerity, we both will be. Just not completely CUT OFF and triaged out, so at least for as long as the model can survive, I expect that the last places impacted by real Oil Shortage will be the FSofA and China.

When you look at this whole dynamic in aggregate, you should have a better understanding of how the Capitalist paradigm really worked over the last century particularly as it came to depend on Oil, but also even before that as it depended on Colonial Expansion to grow after the discovery of the New World. The central Wealth, the “Capital” being exploited here to drive this system forward always came through military DOMINATION by powerful Nation-States, and then all the smaller wealth piles accumulated by small and large Pigmen came from the central source of either expropriated lands in the Colonial Era, or Expropriated Energy resource in the following Age of Oil. Read the works of General Smedley Butler to understand how this was pursued by the FSofA from the late 19th Century into the early 20th Century. Read also Carroll Quigley’s “Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time.”

For the folks at the TOP of the Ponzi, people I refer to as the “Illuminati”, in essence they got the Oil for FREE, much as the TBTF Banks get ZERO interest loans. They controlled the power of the state through the political and monetary system they ran and still sort of run, though it is coming apart at the seams now. Long as it was virtually inexhaustible, all they needed to do was charge a Penny’s Worth of Labor against the energy of Oil they get free. The value of labor gets depressed, it is out competed by virtually free energy from Oil. You can keep building on this Ponzi scheme for so long as the marginal cost of energy from Oil is less than the marginal cost of the labor it replaces. So it was done through the Oil era of Industrialization, with the price of Labor ever arbitraged downward, ever so briefly unsuccessfully battled by the Unions. The energy was so vast that as most labor became unnecessary, the social welfare state evolved to take its place. If there is no real WORK for people to do, you put them on the dole, you feed them virtually free food that is produced through the Industrialized Ag model of Monsanto and Conagra. This whole system WORKED for so long as the Oil came close to free. All the other forms of “work” that evolved though the time period sieved off of this, ALL “small bizmen” who became marginally “wealthy” through the time period became so by tapping into the central source of power and by arbitraging downward the cost of labor against the energy source. Every last person who became rich through this time period did so by tapping into a source of wealth that was either pulled directly from the planetary resource or by arbitraging increasingly worthless labor of other people against the thermodynamic energy of Oil. The connections get convoluted sometimes, but I can always show how they work through all conduits, physical or information based does not matter. It is for this reason I make the case that ALL rich people are GUILTY to one extent or another of Crimes Against Humanity, dependent mainly on exactly how much of the worldwide Wealth they funneled toward themselves. In some cases its part of systemic distribution problems rather than pure greed. That is the case for people like Rock Stars or Professional Athletes who get paid outrageous sums of money and Gate-kept professions like Medicine and Law. Regardless of HOW the money ends up funneled though, it ALL still comes from the same central repository, the Energy and Property control that was accessed through military power underpinning Capitalist economies over the centuries here, most particularly the very successful Empires run first by the British through the 1800s and then the FSofA during the 20th Century. The Capital Markets and the Banking system are a distribution means for the wealth, they are centrally controlled, always have been. As long as there was a lot of surplus, pretty much the whole world operating under the system did OK, while those in control of the system did a whole lot better than just OK. When we hit Peak Oil, roughly in 2008 or so, the system collapsed and has only been extended and pretended by shifting the wealth remaining and essentially further impoverishing the already impoverished.

Once you grasp that Capitalism only really functioned as a SIEVING mechanism dependent on Military hegemony, not as a “Wealth Creation” mechanism, you should grasp why it cannot continue to function in a depleted energy environment. The Central Pool of wealth from which all the smaller wealth piles are sieved out no longer exists, so each of the smaller pools must be drained, one by one, the weakest ones first. So Small Biz goes under before Big Biz does, small Nation-State Goobermints collapse before the big ones do. We have been witnessing this effect for the last 3 years since Lehman collapsed in 2008. This cannot be denied, Small Biz IS failing while the TBTF are propped up, Small Nation-States ARE collapsing while the TBTF Nations of the FSofA, China, Germany and the U.K. extend and pretend. For anyone who believes “Small Bizness is the Backbone of Amerika”, you have it completely ass-backwards. Small Biz only exists as a sieving mechanism into the hands of Big Biz, and when that sieving mechanism no longer works, the Small Biz collapses first, not the Big Biz first. All will collapse though once the central wealth supply is sufficiently depleted.

The ONLY solution to the problem of maintaining the Industrial Model was to find further sources of nearly FREE energy, such as we obtained in the early ears of Oil exploitation. It is for this reason alone tht the Illuminati funded such thing as Superconducting Supercolliders and a 40 year long basically fruitless attempt to control Fusion Power. None of them were truly successful, energy as FREE as the Bubbling Crude that came up in Jed Clampett’s backyard has not been found, and likely never will be again. The Illuminati at the top of the Ponzi KNOW this, and all that is going on here is as we spin down they are sieving in the last of the wealth toward themselves. This will continue up until the Conduits finally do collapse, at which time we really WILL get a New World Order. A much smaller one quite free of the Illuminati, who will go the way of the Dinosaur as the energy to run the systems they use as conduits for control disappear.

What is most entertaining in the mad scramble is watching as Pigmen both small and large try and figure out how they will protect their “Wealth” as the House of Cards that is the Banking system collapses. For the most part all the financial instruments developed over the last century had as their underlying Capital the Waste-based Industrial model built on Oil. You have many layers of interconnected instruments to use as investment vehicles in this paradigm. As Stoneleigh writes, what you really have here are multiple claims to the underlying wealth which must be extinguished, in the Fractional Reserve banking system probably at least 100:1, but really much larger than that when all the derivative instruments floating in the Shadow Banking system are tallied up. Go there, you are probably looking at more like 10,000:1, which means only one lucky guy gets to walk away with $1 of real wealth, while 9,999 walk way holding an empty bag. What this means is that even some of the Illuminati will be left holding empty bags.

That friends is actually the POSITIVE spin, because what it assumes is that there is $1 of Real Wealth down at the bottom of the pile of Debt somewhere. However, once you grasp that all the real wealth in this system came from accessing the thermodynamic energy of Oil, since all the cheap stuff has been pretty much exhausted, instead of $1 of real wealth down there its probably more like 30 cents worth left now.

Some real wealth of course does remain, mainly in what good arable land is left on the earth still with good water supplies that do not have to be pumped up by oil powered pumps. Land also that will not produce nearly so much when it is not supplemented with Round Up and farmed with Oil powered Tractors and Combines. So in terms of Real Wealth available relative to the total population of around 6.3B, the amount is miniscule on a per capita basis.

Can you reboot a monetary system based on that real wealth? In theory you can, but it has the practical application problem that its going to be about impossible to maintain Private Property rights over this land as the society at large begins to starve. Goobermints/Warlords etc will take control over the productive lands in some fashion. Money per se will not really function during this period, of whatever kind, not even slivers or coins made of precious metal. To be very clear here, money as a wealth measure, currency and savings medium can only function in a surplus society. It came onto the scene with the development of agriculture, because that technological development put the societies which developed it into a food surplus situation, at least some of which could be stored up in Grain Houses. With that surplus, the society began developing all the many other crafts and forms of work we developed, and gave the time necessary to spur innovations, Eventually, with the Enlightenment, those innovations came fast and furious there for a while in Europe, which allowed the Europeans to essentially gain hegemony over ALL the world resources for a while.

Once you do have surplus, just about anything can serve as money as long as it is kept reasonably scarce, Cowrie Shells worked quite well in Africa until it got debased by traders with Tall Ships who picked up tons of those shells for FREE in areas they were plentiful and shipped them to areas where they were in scarcity. PMs have always been scarce just about everywhere, so they functioned as a medium as well on a much broader basis for a longer period. They still depend on surplus though in basic goods to function, and then because they are so scarce everywhere hoarding is a very real problem for this form of money. Solution to that was the development of Fiat Paper Money, kept scarce by Da Goobermint but always available to print up as Da Goobermint needs it. As long as the POWER of Da Goobermint through the Military is available to access real wealth across the world, the Fiat Money it produces on Paper or in Digital form holds value. As a result, the Dollar won’t fail completely until the FSofA Military fails completely. That is happening in relative slow motion right now, but picking up speed as more areas of the world fall into anarchy. The question has been asked here “Who will Buy USTs when Da Fed stops buying”. Answer in time of WAR, anybody who thinks the FSofA will WIN the war! Who ELSE do the Illuminati have to bet on here? The Chinese? Their economy is directly tied to that of the FSofA as Chimerica. Big Circle Jerk dependent on the outcome of a War which can only end in the depletion of the last of the easily accessible Oil. However, until this War comes to a close, the Dollar is going to remain a Go To currency until the Military Machine itself collapses.

The vast Machine that is the FSofA Military-Industrial-Banking complex will collapse as the Oil Conduit which powers it collapses. Partially as a result of straight depletion issues, but increasing in rapidity due to anarchy and war in the locations where the Oil is pumped up. It is a Cascade Failure, and as each additional place goes offline, it puts more stress on the remaining nodes, which then become overloaded and themselves fail. Libya going into Anarchy destabilizes Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia going Offline destabilizes the WORLD.

Certainly, the Illuminati will not allow this to happen without a FIGHT, and I do not expect Saudi Arabia to drop off the map of Oil Production quite so rapidly as Libya has, but fall they will. What Military Assets the Illuminati do have WILL be brought to bear to keep Saudi Arabia producing as long as possible, but it does not seem likely this will be all that long. The “Beginning” here is the No-Fly Zone over Libya, but as Winston Churchill said, “This is not the End. It is not even the Beginning of the End. It is the End of the Beginning”. For the Elite running the show here, there is only ONE choice to maintain their power as long as possible, and that is a Full On WAR for the Oil in the M.E. EVERY last military resource will be brought to bear in this war, as it develops. It cannot be won by anyone, but it will most certainly be undertaken.

It’s a ways off still explicitly, but the War for Oil will be fought, the writing is on the wall. We will Power Down, we will Fracture on a societal level away from Globalism to Localism, and there will be a One to the Many diaspora. It is inevitable, always has been from the very MOMENT Jed Clampett found the Bubblin’ Crude on his hunting land. We are just the “lucky” ones who are alive to see the transition BACK from the Age of Oil, as we are forced to REVERSE ENGINEER our way back to a lower energy footprint on the world. For as long as we are alive anyhow, because for many of us, particularly those who live in the Big Shities, their days are Numbered. Few will make it through the Zero Point this time.

See You on the Other Side.

RE

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